Note: Part 2 will be posted as soon as possible.
“We have one priority right now,” said Ashe, “Winning.” The Red Team had piled into a MINI Cooper limousine War Edition (a gift to Ashe from her father). The car was armed with machine guns, a turbo-charged engine with 560 Pegasuspower, a tank top (no pun intended), and a host of other Ares built features made ready for the next World War. A cloud of dirt and dust rose up behind the car as it barreled across the Arizona desert at a harrowing speed.
“Well that’s debatable,” Mark John replied, “I’d say not dying is a priority.” The son of Dionysius ordinarily didn’t mind traveling at speeds of over 120 MPH, but there was something about Ashe’s…warlike driving that put his stomach on edge.
“Oh dying isn’t that bad,” Armita daughter of Hades said, “Unless you’ve been bad.”
Cate looked up from an Arizona roadmap, “Rescuing Jason perhaps, is that a priority?”
The Red Team, known for its organized chaos, was already living up to its name. Their plan consisted of two steps, 1) Find the item selected by the Blue Team, 2) Watch out for Talos. The bright red MINI slowed way down as it pulled in front of the mountainous junkyard. The Olympians’ trashcan sprawled in all directions, easily the size of Denver, Colorado. A bright sign lit up the entrance, it said “Welcome, take anything you like, just don’t expect to keep it….or live long. Enjoy your visit!”
“At least their friendly,” Atom observed, glancing out of the tinted window, “I think….well…at least they’re welcoming.”
Louis pulled out the sticky note from the Blue Team. “A Hummer H1 is what we’re looking for. Everybody out!”
The nine team members readily got out of the limousine, determined to defeat the Blue Team. They didn’t expect the Arizona heat though. Easily one hundred degrees of scorching air welcomed them to the Grand Canyon State. The Poseidon kids didn’t seem fazed, maybe it was the water god thing.
Ashe sighed as she sized up the gate, “It’s too small an entrance to drive my car through.”
“Even if you managed that, I don’t see any roads through there,” Armita said, pursing her lips.
Louis and Ashe, team captains until Jason is rescued, ushered the team into pre-selected groups. Armita and Atom would take the North end, Cate and Mark John would take the South, Dilip and Dimitris got the East, and Ashe, Thuthu, and Louis selected the West end.
“Here is the plan, find the Hummer, avoid Talos. If either of the two happen send up a flare,” Louis explained. Ashe passed out what appeared to be iPod Nanos, but were in reality flare guns.
Dilip raised his hand in question, “I thought my sister Bianca, gods rest her soul, destroyed Talos.”
Ashe explained, “She did, but Hephaestus sent another one down to protect his um, junk.” The team grimaced, no one wanted to fight a giant bronze automaton.
The son of Tyche yelled out, “Good luck and…Move out!!”
Two hours later….
Louis, Ashe, Thuthu had found nothing. They searched nearly every pile of junk in the West End. Yes, West End is capitalized as the trio discovered. There was a large neon sign half lit that said “West End.” Beneath it had a little holographic map with a giant red pin with the words “You are here. Good luck.”
“Nothing,” Thuthu said glumly as she picked up a deflated basketball with a glowing Delta on it, “Apparently the others are having the same luck.”
Right on cue, a distant sizzling brought their attention towards the Northern sky. A bright red flare burst into the clear Arizona sky. The flare exploded than shaped into an arrow pointed downward.
Ashe yanked Louis and Thuthu out the knee deep junk. “Come on!” She yelled, “That arrow won’t last forever!”
As it turned out, they didn’t even need the GPS arrow. The loud metal crunching sounds might have given the North team’s position away, or the automaton giant.
In a valley between mounds of thrown away lamp shades, Cate and Atom were desperately trying to stay alive against Talos. The bronze giant towered into the sky, making anything else in the world seem diminutive, except maybe the horizon of junk.
As the West team leapt (and slid) down the mountains of junk they armed up. Ashe took out her bronze spear; Thuthu grabbed her flashlight, pushed the button and it transformed into a half silver, half celestial bronze sword; Louis brought out a hand of cards from his sleeve. They weren’t alone though, the rest of the Red Team converged at the North team’s location. Spears bristling, swords gleaming, cards bluffing, and all other unusual weapons pointed towards Talos.
“Red Team!” Louis yelled, “Attack.” Unfortunately Talos got the memo too. The automaton stepped forward as the Red Team scattered in all directions. Flames roared up Talos’ side, water splashed into the monster’s nostrils, playing cards bounced off the bronze giant, and Mark John guided grapevines around its legs. For a second, the junkyard guardian was nearly overcome by the tactics used to destroy the hundred headed dragon, Ladon. But this time, those tactics were futile. The grapevines held for a moment before they snapped as the monster stepped forward. The flames, water, and throwing cards had little to no effect on the monster.
Dilip and Armita pushed their hands into some visible dirt. A ghastly skeletal hand arose from the red dirt. Within seconds, three skeletons appeared and awaited the orders of the children of Hades, who said in unison “Kill Talos.” Without hesitation, the skeletons leapt on the the bronze monster’s legs and began banging away with their bones. Unfortunately, bone couldn’t pierce bronze.
Mark John smirked, “Not much help.”
“I see your grapevines worked wonderfully,” Armita shot back, “Can’t you crush a grape again?”
“No, it only works on organic life forms, things with brains,” Mark John explained.
Talos made a grinding sound as it turned on the son of Dionysius.
Louis called out, “Shouldn’t have said that.”
“We’re getting nowhere,” Ashe grunted as Mark John ran for cover. The daughter of Ares reached into her pocket and brought out a knife. She threw it with Olympic grade force and accuracy. It implanted itself into Talos’ left eyeball. Ashe clenched her hand tightly. Around the valley where Talos stood machine guns popped up out of the junkpiles and began firing rounds into the automaton’s face.
Cate, Thuthu, Dimitris, and Atom had managed to climb the tallest junk hill that encircled the valley. They outstretched their hands, trying to channel the sea (which is very difficult to do in landlocked Arizona).
Talos plunged his hand into a junk mound. He roared and withdrew his hand causing a landslide of trash. Dilip, Armita, and Mark John were buried in the avalanche.
“This ends now,” Louis said to Ashe. He threw a pair of dice down. The left die landed on one and other on six. Louis laughed giddily, “Seven! How lucky was that!” Ashe just rolled her eyes. Golden light bursted from the dice and shimmered across the air in the general direction of Talos. The wave of good fortune had nearly reached Talos when an image of balancing scales burned across Talos. The scales seared like fire, as the golden light rolled off Talos, not affecting him. “κατάρα που Νέμεση!!” Louis yelled in anger, “You’re always ruining our fun!” Ashe roughly translated the Greek to something like “Curse you Nemesis!”.
The violent smell of sea salt suddenly violated the noses of Louis and Ashe. Water covered the sun momentarily as it rose up before crashing down upon Talos. The bronze giant faltered for his footing but couldn’t find it. He fell on his rear into a mountain of trash and was soon obscured from view beneath the sea water. An air bubble popped at the surface, revealing an unconscious Armita, Dilip, and Mark John. Louis and Ashe dived in the water to rescue them.
Cate called out, “Get out of the water! Quick!” Ashe and Louis dragged the limp demigods onto a dry pile of Crusty’s mattresses.
Thuthu had gotten hold of a car battery and some spark plugs and wired it together. She tossed them over to Ashe. The daughter of Ares caught it then underhandedly threw the contraption into the air and pointed her spear. Electricity cackled out and struck the wires, creating a dangerously live circuit with the battery. The charged battery sunk into the waves. The water glowed as the electricity stuck the bronze giant. Ashe and Louis threw themselves behind a mattress as the air became tinged with a “shocking” feeling. The water soon began to drain away, revealing the scorched remains of Talos. Hephaestus’ automaton had been reduced to a blackened heap of metal. The Poseidon kids fainted from the combination of over-exertion, heat, and dehydration. Out of the nine demigods, only Ashe and Louis remained battle ready, while Cate struggled to remain conscious, and then there was the matter of the Hummer to be resolved.