This is a crossover story by B.W. and Kate Ulrich. It is B.W.'s demi-god series with some new characters, written alternately between the two of us. For Crossover Part 1 and the rest of the demi-god series, go see B.W.'s stories.
They all began to get ready as the monster began to approach them all with more roaring. We won't run from this, we're going to defeat this! We're going to fight it!
"I'm... done..." Meg panted. He shook his head. "How long have we been running from that thing?"
"Long enough," Lia growled. She gripped a sharp bronze knife. "I've known you guys for like twenty minutes, and I already know you aren't fighters."
"I'm a fighter!" protested Meg. Aella held her tongue, though Lia's words made her blood boil. She was a fighter. She had been fighting since she was a toddler, trained by her mother Atalanta, a famous Greek huntress who was granted immortality for her achievements. It wasn't Aella's fault that Meg kept running away, stealing the attention of the Cyclops chasing them. She'd been ready to fight.
"Whatever you guys are doing, I'm going to find Arren." Lia's companion had iridescent wings sprouting from her shoulder blades. They flapped as she started to fly.
"Harmony, wait. The Cyclops was carrying Arren last we saw him. Even if you managed to survive, he might drop him." Lia's tail twitched in agitation. Apparently, she was the daughter of the goddess of wolves. She had a fluffy tail, furry ears, and unusually pointy canine teeth.
Blake spoke up. "I'm not a great soldier. If you need help with Arren, Harmony, I'll do it." As stocky and strong as he was, he wasn't any good at handling a weapon.
"I'll fight the monster."
"No," the three girls said in unison.
"Aella, come on. You know how demi-gods connect with their parents?" He pointed at Aella. "Atalanta. Huntress and warrior." Then to Blake. "Bellerophon. Walking disaster." Blake rolled his eyes. "And I'm the son of Hercules. I've sparred before. I can do this."
"Is he any good?" Lia asked Aella.
Truth was, Aella hadn't seen Meg spar in forever. But he hadn't been bad before. And he could be right about the parent-child bond thing. And he'd throw a tantrum if she said no. Still...
Against her better judgement, Aella said, "Fine." She reached down to her invisible scabbard(a gift from her mom) and pulled out a heavy sword. The hilt was encrusted with rubies and diamonds, spelling out MEGARUS in sparkly, expensive letters.
She handed it to Meg, who grinned. "Dad gave it to me," he said to Harmony and Lia. He lifted the thing high in the air, his arms trembling under its ridiculous weight.
Lia sighed. "Okay. Let's face that monster. You have a weapon?" she asked. Aella snapped out her left arm. A golden shield appeared, stretching from her elbow to her wrist. She clenched her fingers around air and a silver spear shaft grew into her hand. "Yep," she said to the wolf-girl.
Lia pulled two bronze knives from her pocket. "Ready for your first monster?"
The Cyclops hadn't noticed them yet. It sat with its back to them, sharpening an ax. A few feet away was a boy with blood on his face, lying with his face toward the ground.
As was the plan, Harmony rose into the air, gripping Blake's hand. They flew behind the monster and landed beside the boy. Lia nodded at Aella. Aella nodded at Meg. Meg ran into the clearing.
"FOR HERCULES!" he shouted, slashing at the Cyclops' back.
The monster jumped to its feet and roared at its attacker. Lia sprang into action, throwing one of her knives at it while Aella ran to tackle Meg to the ground, milliseconds before the Cyclops' airborne ax would have skewered him. "Get up, run!" she hissed. Meg scrambled away while she ran toward it.
The Cyclops was twice as tall as Aella. Its skin was mottled gray, scaly and rough as tree bark. It wore only a loincloth and a silver necklace. Its voice rumbled and crashed at her eardrums. And it had one, mucus-green eye in the center of its forehead.
The Cyclops was headed for Lia, whose second dagger flew at the monster. The blade lodged in the monster's arm, but that hardly slowed it down. Aella sprinted forward, ducking underneath its meaty hands, quickly stabbing at its side with her spear.
"Meg! I need some help!" she yelled.
Meg stood a few yards away. His face was white as bone. His sword hung loosely from his fingers.
The Cyclops backhanded Aella so hard, her brain shook.
She opened her eyes. Blurry. The trees were waving, rippling as if a reflection in a pond. Someone was in front of her, their body a flowing silhouette.
"I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry, Blake, what do I do? What do I do? I killed her!"
"Chill, Meg. She's fine. See?" Aella's vision began to straighten out. She blinked.
"Cyclops..." she mumbled. She sat straight up, ignoring the stabbing pain in her head. "Where is it? Did it hurt someone?"
"It's all good. Oh, and this is Arren."
"Hi," a new voice said. A boy popped his head up over Blake's shoulder. His face was bloody, but he was smiling. Harmony sat next to him. Aella wasn't sure if this was just her frazzled brain talking, but she thought they were holding hands.
Blake's face went a bit sour. He glanced at Harmony, who shrugged and said, "She ran off after it."
"What? And you all just let her?" She glared at each of them in turn. "She could get killed."
"I doubt it. She's only going to find its lair, and I don't think it'll try to attack us again," Arren said.
"Your friend's horse beat him up," Harmony explained.
Blake blushed. "Uh, you know in the old myths, my dad knew Pegasus?"
Aella knew. Blake's father, Bellerophon, was a hero famed for taming the winged stallion. Did that mean...
"So after the Cyclops beat you up, and he was about to kill us all, I just-I kinda panicked, and then he showed up."
"Pegasus showed up?"
A high-pitched whinny came from above them. Aella looked up through the trees to see a shadow on the canopy, a huge, horse-shaped shadow. Then it crashed through the trees. Branches cracked and thudded twenty feet to the ground, but the horse landed with ease and grace. Lia, though, on his back, looked terrified, and had leaves in her hair and small scratches on her face. "Uh, well, we found the Cyclops' lair," she said, spitting out a small twig.
"We haven't had any real monsters in these woods for years. Did you see why he was there?" Harmony asked.
"Well, no. But, um, we found this." Lia carefully dismounted Pegasus, who nickered and tossed his mane. She reached in her pocket and pulled out the silver necklace the Cyclops had been wearing.
"Jewelry?" Arren's brow furrowed.
Aella shook her head. "Here, let me see." Lia hesitated but handed it over. "Look at the symbol. H. What does that stand for?"
"Maybe it's the Greek letter, Eta," Blake suggested.
"Maybe." She gave it back to Lia. "How far away is the camp?"
"I could see it when I rode Pegasus. Not far."
The stallion was now nuzzling Blake's sweatshirt. Aella smiled. "You must remind him of your dad." Blake awkwardly petted the animal with his palm.
"You should ride him. You probably have a concussion," he said, leading the horse to her. Aella grabbed her spear from where it lay on the ground, sheathed it, and mounted Pegasus, who sniffed her hands as if checking for snacks.
"Arren, you're hurt. Why don't you go with her?" Harmony prodded Arren forward. He took a seat behind Aella and glanced at Meg.
"Meg, you should come too." Aella's friend looked as if he was going to pass out any second. Pale as a sheet, he wordlessly shook his head. "Okay, you can walk with the rest of them. See you at camp." Something was definitely wrong with Meg.
"Hey, your sword," she said. It lay on the forest floor, abandoned.
"Just leave it," he whispered hoarsely. Pegasus flapped his wings and rose into the air.
"See you guys soon!" Harmony yelled, as she waved from the ground.
Soon they were soaring above the trees. Aella clung to Pegasus' mane and breathed in the clear air. Suddenly she gasped.
"Yep," said Arren. "That's the camp."
"But there's a-"
"I know. That's normal, don't worry."
Aella stared. Of course she wasn't expecting a normal place, but this- this was incredible.