Hey pals! It's Awkward Jess here. Athena's WELL into its rewrite with a little over 90 pages already complete! I don't know why, but Kirsten and I have been holding onto it for far too long without posting it anywhere, so here we are now!
If you didn't read the original version of Athena, you don't need to. I personally think it's kinda trash, but I learned a lot through writing it and this story has been with me for almost a decade now (which is so crazy to think about!) I started writing this story by hand during my freshman year of high school and it's grown and evolved so much since then! It's gone through many changes, but I'm so proud of this story. These characters are all so important to me, and they hold such a special place in my heart.
In other related news, at the same time as I've been working on Athena with my fantastic writing buddy, I've also started another SERIES (although it's not long enough to be a series yet) that takes place in the same universe as Athena. All different characters, with some guest appearances from Athena people, but this story is a lot more mellow on the action. If that sounds like something you'd enjoy, give Club for the Extraordinary a read. I don't have as much prewritten for that, and the chapters are a lot longer so it'll have slow updates, but I care for those characters just as much, so their story will get out there. Don't you worry!
November 9, 2005
2:27 a.m. PST
I don't know why Daddy is so worried about me attempting this mission. I know that I'm only eight, a lot younger than most people in the society, but Griffin told me that we're the best in the business.
"We're also badasses. People who work for Dad are badass." Griffin is pulling on a lightly armored jacket over his t-shirt. With his mission uniform on and chocolate brown hair freshly cut, he looks like a shorter version of Daddy. The only other difference is his eye color, icy blue from our mom instead of red-brown like Daddy.
"Ooh, you said a bad word twice!" I sing, kicking my legs from my perch on top of our uniform locker.
"I'm going to be a teenager in less than two months! I'm not five." Griffin rolls his eyes. "And get down from there before someone tries to shoot you off, Psycho."
"What, like you, Junior?" I tease, pointing down at him. "Hunter Junior, you will never be able to catch me, and no one else in the Society, either!"
Griffin scowls. "Just because we're sorcerers doesn't mean that we can't get shot. You're in a base full of the deadliest assassins in the world."
"Right, but I'm the most deadly. Daddy wouldn't have put me on the mayor mission otherwise."
"Or he's just trying to get us out of the way for the night." Griffin shrugs, pulling on a pair of gloves.
"This exact mission failed before. But we're going to win it." I hold my hand open. "Мне нужен молоток."
My hammer appears, the familiar weight settling in my palm. "Why do they even want to kill him, anyway?"
"It's not your job to know." Daddy is standing at the door, glaring at us. Griffin immediately stands at attention and I scramble down from the locker to stand next to him. "You should leave. Now." Daddy seems angrier than usual tonight, so I follow Griffin out of the door without saying anything.
What's going on with him?
November 9, 2005
3:07 a.m. PST
I let my knees collapse against the impact of my jump and tuck into a forward roll, immediately rising to my feet and resuming my run. We knew that the mayor's home had sorcery detectors nearby and motion detectors on the ground, so Griffin and I had teleported about 200 yards out.
'You have a leaf in your hair.'
'Shut up.' The telepathic link gives me an echoing version of Griffin's laughter.
'Well, you do!' Griffin insists.
'Well, your jacket looks stupid on you.' I grumble back, stopping to yank the offending plant bits out of my hair. 'Now shush, I have a bad guy to kill.'
Griffin doesn't respond verbally, but takes a flying leap to the ledge below our target window and hoists himself up. He places a tiny electromagnet on the window's alarm system to disable it, then pops the window open. He pushes it open enough to fit through and motions for me to follow him, then slides in. 'I'll keep an eye out for any distractions like your little hero friends.'
'They're not my friends…' I have to avoid laughing at the memory of Speedster's face planting the last time I saw him.
Griffin comes back over to the window and motions for me to come in. I back up for a running start and take a flying leap to the ledge.'Whatever. Get in here. You gotta do this quick, party crashers'll be on top of us any minute now.'
I roll my eyes as I sneak into the mayor's office. 'Showtime.' I step calmly out of hiding, a little disappointed that the mayor doesn't notice me right away. Damn.
"You've made some people angry." I pull out my hammer. It's one of the first weapons Daddy taught me, and I'm very good at using it.
The mayor, some old guy with salt-and-pepper hair and a lot of wrinkles, snaps his head up and then collapses out of his chair, scrambling for the phone. I rush forward and smash it. "What the hell!?" He yelps, breathing in quick gasps. "How did you get in here?"
"The League of Assassins is very good at what it does." I say coolly, walking around to the other side of the desk. "And someone wants you dead."
The mayor looks scared now, but also confused. "You're just a little kid, you're not going to hurt me."
I glare. "Fight me, then."
"N-no. You're just a kid, I'm not going to hurt you." The mayor reaches under the desk, and I hear the click of the silent alarm button.
"I'm not just a kid! I'm the Psycho!" I shriek. "Now fight me or die!" I raise my hammer up above my head. Just fight me, you idiot!
The mayor reaches forward, probably to try and grab my arms. I drop to my knees and swing at his kneecap. He screams and falls down, clutching at his leg. 'Samantha, hurry up!' Griffin yells over the mental link. 'We're running out of time to get away.'
The mayor is crawling to the door, desperately trying to get away from me. I scream in frustration and throw the hammer as hard as I can at his head. There's a wet cracking sound as the claw of the hammer breaks his skull. He doesn't move after that.
'Sam-!' Whatever Griffin was about to say is cut off. I decide to try and find Griffin and get out of the office. As I'm sneaking out, I come face-to-face with Speedster.
"Get out of my way, speed freak." I snarl, summoning an anti-power rope with the wave of a hand and tying the nine-year-old up.
"What the heck?" Speedster twists in the rope and trips, falling face-first onto the ground. He wriggles around uselessly, trying to get free. "What did you do to the mayor?" What an idiot.
"I killed him!" I exclaim, somewhat just to see his reaction. Speedster has made my job amusing just about every time we run into each other. I almost have been looking forward to it these past few missions.
"Gross! Why?" Speedster doesn't seem too fazed, but then again we've been in this situation a few times before.
"I was told to." I cross my arms in front of me. "Who told you to follow me every time I have a job?"
"Who told you that you have to kill people?" He fires back, still trying to get out of the ropes. He's so funny when he's trying to escape.
"My dad is the leader of the League of Assassins. He gives me assignments." This has been normal for so long, yet the heroes still seem to get so squeamish about it whenever it's brought up.
Speedster's face falls. "That's messed up. You're like, my age."
"How old are you again? Nine, right? I'm eight." I take a seat in front of Speedster, hoping that I don't have to leave too soon. If I'm being honest, these conversations are the most fun I have on these missions.
"My dad says that if you stop before you're an adult, you won't have a permanent record." I laugh at this suggestion, reaching forward and messing up Speedster's hair. Does he really think I have a choice? That's adorable. Speedster makes a face at me. "Don't touch my hair."
"Who says I'm going to get caught?" I shrug, looking around to see if any other heroes are on their way. Hopefully not.
"I think you're going to get caught, if you keep standing around after taking a target out." Griffin appears next to me and grabs my elbows. I look up at him and pout.
"Is it time to go already?" I groan, looking back over at Speedster.
Griffin's jaw is clenched and his whole body is tense. "We need to go now." He teleports us away before I have time to protest.
"Griffin! You always ruin my fun!" I whine, stomping off to go get out of costume. "Sometimes it's nice to pretend I have friends!" I don't bother with proper removal of my mask and just use sorcery to get rid of the adhesive.
"Hey! I'm not the one that said you couldn't get close with anyone at school, so don't blame that on me!" Griffin yells, following me until the steps, where he stops while I stomp my way up them. "Besides, I think becoming buddies with one of the heroes is probably one of your dumbest moves. You know how dad's going to react when he finds out!"
"Dad's not going to find out." I roll my eyes. "He's going to think that I have a nemesis."
"Not with how you were talking to Speedster." Griffin barks out a laugh. What? "He was trying to convince you to switch sides, or at least quit, right? Dad would hate to hear that. Especially since you were being so friendly with him."
"Then we just won't tell Dad. It's fine." I slam my door, ending Griffin's nagging. For now. I change out of costume and put on my pajamas before walking back downstairs to find a snack. That's when it finally hits me. "Griffin?"
"Yeah?" Griffin looks up from the game he's playing. "What's up?"
"Where's mom?" his head shoots up, game forgotten.
"I'm gonna go find her." Griffin decides, putting his game down. "Put a bag together just in case the police come to the house."
"What? Why would they do that? Our cover hasn't been blown." I grab Griffin by the arm to try get a better answer, but he quickly shakes me off of him. "Griffin."
"Mom could have blown our cover." Griffin insists. "And if she did, dad's going to be pissed. I think everything's going to be okay, but you have to be ready to leave."
"But I thought mom didn't know about anything…"
"She's not stupid, Sammy!"
"I never said she is!" What's happening? "What do I do if people come? I can't just go with the police if they come here. They're bound to find out who we all are."
Griffin rubs his face. "I'll think of something. Just pack everything you can into one bag. Anything personal, some clothes, your toothbrush and stuff. Okay?"
I shake my head in disbelief, but still go to do as he says.
November 9, 2005
6:00 a.m. PST
I jerk upright in bed before I fully realize that there's a loud, obnoxious alarm blaring.
"Alright, loser! It's time to leave the Johnston family." Griffin grabs my blanket off of me, pulling me out of bed. "You're moving out."
"What the heck? No I'm not!" I flail as Griffin tries to drag me to my feet, catching him under the ribs. He grunts with the impact but doesn't let go.
"Yes you are, you little shit." Griffin insists, attempting to grab my suitcase as he continues dragging me.
"Put me down!" I try to kick him again, failing this time.
"How about no. The cops are onto things, so you got to go into hiding."
Even though I want to keep fighting Griffin, I can hear the police sirens in the distance."What about you?"
"I'll figure something out. Hopefully I don't die." Griffin grimaces.
"Griffin! Don't you dare die!" I snap. "If you think you're going to die, I'm going to stay with you and protect you."
"I don't mean literally, god! You're such an idiot. You're just going into hiding for a while until I can come get you, okay?"
"But I don't want to go into hiding!"
"Your new name is Owen Roberts. If anyone asks you, your family died in a car crash, got it?"
I can't decide if I'm more annoyed or confused. "That name is gross! It's a boy's name."
"Look, if someone tries to find you, they're going to be looking for a girl's name. A boy's name will help you hide better." He tosses some clothes at me. "Besides, you're Sam. That's also a boy's name."
"But that's different." I pick up the clothes he tossed at me and look at them. "You picked my least favorite–"
"Suck it up, pipsqueak." Griffin cuts me off. "If you want to put something else on, go for it. Meet me in the bathroom in five minutes." Griffin rushes out, leaving me to put together an outfit and grab the last of my belongings.
(insert author's note)