This is the third part to a Crossover with B.W. Check out their stories for the other parts to the series!
An army of teenagers shouldn’t be so intimidating, especially when there’s only a few dozen of them. Meg shivered in the setting winter sun. His metal armor was cold to his skin, colder still to his wounded conscience. He was only pretending now. He wasn’t one of them.
Aella looked like a real hero. She wore a chainmail breastplate, metal boots, and a gold helmet. Her eyes were steely blue, and her cornsilk hair shone silver in the fading light. Her knuckles were white with as she gripped her spear.
Blake, Meg could hardly believe, also seemed ready for battle. His bulky frame had been fitted into protective clothing and he even had a sword.
“You sure you’re ready for this?” Meg asked him.
Blake moistened his lips. “Pretty sure.” His horse Pegasus nickered. Blake ran his fingers over the steed’s wings. “Harmony? You guys ready?”
In the ranks in front of them, Harmony turned around. Her wings, fluttering with nerves, sprouted through an opening in her armor. “I hope so. Those monsters looked pretty bad.”
“Chill, Harmony. Not too loud.” The wolf-girl, Lia, tossed her head toward a third kid. “You’re scaring Arren.”
“Am not,” said Arren. “Woah, Aella. Is that your mom? She’s scary.”
Atalanta stood a few yards away from them, deep in conversation with Blake’s father, Bellerophon, and Harmony’s mom, Iris. Atalanta looked angry at Bellerophon, who seemed to be shrinking away from her.
“Well, she is known to be one of the most powerful heroes of Greece.”
“Did you see those kids running out of the forest?” Meg asked.
“I saw them. They said the monsters were right behind them, but it’s been a few minutes. Maybe they-”
Aella’s words were cut off by a bone-rattling wolf howl. Lia’s eyes widened. “That’s my mom! That’s the signal!”
Meg’s heart pounded. He heard footsteps. Hundreds of footsteps, shaking the ground. The zombie army. They were coming, along with Cyclopes and Chimeras and who knew what else.
Aella turned toward Meg. “Are you sure you can do this?”
She didn’t believe in him. And she shouldn’t.
“Trust me,” he said. “I have a secret weapon.”
Her forehead crinkled in confusion, but there was no time to argue.
“CHARGE!” Atalanta cried.
The campers surged forward. Meg, unprepared, was knocked to the ground. Aella helped him up. “If you can’t handle this,” she shouted over the sound of battle cries, “get out of here.”
“I’m okay,” he yelled back. He sprinted away before she could argue further.
The woods were chaos. Campers wrestled with zombies, slashing off their limbs and doing their best to dismember them to the point where they couldn’t move, or dashed around cumbersome Cyclopes to stab them in the back. Harmony, Blake, and Iris soared above the battle, diving down to quickly defeat the monsters. Aella fought like a demon, demolishing everything in her path while her mother calmly shot down enemies with her bow.
“Having second thoughts?”
“My son, if you want to change the world, you have to make sacrifices.”
“Not Aella, not Blake, not any of the campers. Otherwise it’s not worth it.”
The attack was to be a statement. The gods would see they couldn’t even protect the camp. This would cripple them. It was all dominoes from there. Meg didn’t know the whole plan, but he knew that this would lead to change, until the gods were no longer in control. Hercules himself had orchestrated this. How could he defy it?
His father sighed. “I will order that no campers be killed. It has to look like a struggle though; some might be injured.” Hercules looked into Meg’s eyes. “Aella and Blake will come with us. You can choose how much we tell them once they’re in custody.”
“Thank you, Dad.”
For a fake battle, it was terrifying.
Harmony slashed at a Cyclops’ eye with her sword, shooting upward as soon as the deed was done. With an angry wail, the monster grabbed her by the wings.
“Harmony!” cried Iris.
It was Arren. He ran toward her, his sword out. Harmony screamed as her wings began to tear. “I’m coming!”
The frantic pulsing of Meg’s heart stopped for a moment. He froze, rooted in that exact second when he saw it- an arrow. An arrow soaring through the air, straight for Arren.
As Meg watched helplessly, the arrow sank into Arren’s chest.
At first he just looked stunned. Then terrified. He raised his head to look up at Harmony.
“NO!” she screamed.
The boy closed his eyes. The sound of his body hitting the ground sprung tears to Meg’s eyes.
“Dad, what did you do?” Meg whispered, horrified.
What did I do?
He had to find Aella.
He ran through the carnage. He could see her, fighting a Gorgon. Its hair hissed and snarled as she dodged punches from their owner. “Aella!”
“What’s wrong?” she asked, rolling away from a kick.
“I need you to come with me!”
Aella plunged her spear into the Gorgon’s gut, victorious. “What? Why?” she asked, coming closer.
“I need to get you to a safe place. Please!”
Her face contorted with confusion. She stepped forward. “Meg, are you-” Her eyes widened. “Duck!” Meg dropped down as Aella jabbed at the monster with her spear. “Hey!”
Hercules. He had the other end of Aella’s spear in his hand, calmly glancing down at Meg. “Time to go, kids.”
“Get away from him. Meg, run!”
“Meg, we don’t have much time. If she’s going to struggle the whole time, I might consider leaving her here.”
“No. Please,” he croaked.
“Meg, what is he talking about?” Aella demanded.
He ignored her. “Dad, what about Blake?”
“Plans have changed,” his father said loftily. “We’re leaving. Now.”
“Meg. What is he talking about?”
Meg stood up and faced her. He felt tears on his face. “This is my secret weapon. I’m sorry.”
For a second, Aella seemed shocked silent. Then her face turned stony. “Traitor,” she spat, venom dripping from the word. “How could you?”
“Look at the state of the world. Who controls that? The gods. We need someone better-”
“You didn’t even hear his plan, did you? I saw him in his cave. I heard what he said. Do you know what he’s doing to this camp?”
“That’s enough,” warned Hercules. “Take her away.” He snatched Aella’s spear, nodding to two nearby zombies who took her arms.
“Meg! He’s going to kill us! He wants to hurt the gods by-” Hercules lunged forward and hit her over the head with her spear. Meg gasped. Aella stopped talking, her body sagging.
“See that she stays quiet,” he said in a low voice as the zombies dragged her away.
He turned to his son and tried for a smile. Meg was quiet. His heart hammered, fear clawing at his mind.
“The world changes today,” he said, clapping the boy on the shoulder. “I need your help with it. Now, let’s go. It's time."
Meg finally realized the truth.
He was descended from a murderer.