“Annabeth?” asked Percy, lightly tapping her shoulder.
Annabeth started and looked up at him. “I’m working on Olympus. What is it?”
“That noise. Did you hear it?” Annabeth strained to hear any hint of the sound that Percy seemed so excited about. “No… It was probably the foundation creaking.”
Percy shook his head. “If that’s the sound our foundations make, I think we need new foundations. I’m going to check outsi-” Percy stopped mid sentence.
“What are you looking a-” Annabeth started to ask, turning around to face Percy. Now both stared open mouthed at the small building which had somehow erected itself in their common room in a matter of second. “By the gods,” Annabeth whispered. “It’s…”
“It’s… blue!” Percy finished. “We should check it out.” He looked as if he were about to take a step forward, but Annabeth stopped him with her hand.
“Are you crazy? We don’t know what that thing is!”
“Exactly! We gotta investigate. For Camp Half Blood!” Looking back at her Percy’s eyes were wide and pleading. Annabeth sighed. Maybe they could investigate, a little investigation couldn’t hurt…
“Alright, fine. Keep Riptide capped. But keep it in hand.”
Percy took his hand back and pulled Riptide out of his pocket, beaming at Annabeth the entire time. “Thanks, Wise Girl. Now c’mon!”
Once more Annabeth grabbed Percy’s arm. “Shhh! Anything, or, anyone, could be in there.”
“Oh,” whispered Percy back. “Right. Sorry.” He grinned sheepishly and shrugged slightly. Annabeth rolled her eyes, but couldn’t keep from smirking a little.
They crept up on the structure slowly, Annabeth encircling it to assess the archetecture. A London police call box, circa 1950. Old and clearly just painted, but, painted over shoddy wood. Annabeth rose one eyebrow as she looked. And this thing just showed up in her camp, how now?
Percy lightly pushed on the door. It didn’t budge. Annabeth ran her hand along it, and couldn’t push it open either. Surprisingly sturdy for its age. “We won’t be able to break this down. I don’t know why not,” Annabeth whispered. “What do you think we should do?”
“You could try knocking!” came a voice from inside the box as the door swung wide open and a young, grinning man in a bow tie stepped out. “Hello you two, couldn’t help but overhear a little something about breaking down my TARDIS door.”
“You are standing in Camp Half-Blood, my home. I swore to protect it,” Annabeth stated. Just, to let this man know exactly where she stood.
“And I applaud your efforts, I really do, because you, you clever thing you, you figured out straight away that that wouldn’t work too very well. No one can get through those doors. And believe me, many have tried.”
“Is that a threat?” asked Annabeth, cocking her head slightly to the side. Percy stood next to her, his hand on Riptide’s cap. She held onto his arm to let him know not to uncap it just yet. This man, whoever he was, didn’t seem too hostile. Although it could be a ruse. Either way, Annabeth wanted to try her hand at talking her way out of this situation before a battle broke out.
“A threat? No, no, not unless you’re the Huns, or the Slitheen, or the Cybermen, or the Judoon, come to think of it, or-”
“Who are you, and how did you get here?” asked Annabeth sternly, cutting the man off.
The man straightened his bow tie and raised his chin slightly. “I’m the Doctor.” He stopped there and looked like he was waiting for a response.
“And what is that supposed to mean?” inquired Annabeth.
“What does it mean? Well, it means that I’m a doctor, of course, I travel around in this TARDIS of mine and save stuff. Pretty exciting, don’t you think?” This doctor, whoever he was, was a strange one. He looked human, but then, he could be a monster pretending to be human.
“Alright, whatever, the Doctor, then. How did you get past the magic surrounding this camp? And why are you here?” He seemed pretty cooaporative so far. Maybe she could get everything she needed to know out of him without a fight after all.
“Magic? Oh, that was easy, the TARDIS uses the same technology. That’s not important. But now, you see, now, you come to the important question,” the Doctor said, stepping slowly closer to Annabeth and stopping only when he was practically touching her. She gripped Percy’s arm a bit tighter, but she still wanted to give it a little more time before she’d attack. “Why?”
“Well, I don’t know. That’s what I was asking you. Why are you here, ‘The Doctor’?” Annabeth asked impertinently, staring up at him without blinking.
“It’s just ‘Doctor.’ And well, I’m here because you called me.”
“I didn’t call you!” Annabeth rose her voice to a near shout. Inwardly her mind was working at this new puzzle frantically. A London police box suddenly appears in Camp Half-Blood, out comes a young British man, and here he comes talking about things that couldn’t be true. He couldn’t be telling the truth. He had to be lying. She hadn’t called anybody.
“Do I uncap Riptide now?” Percy asked in a stage whisper.
“Not just yet,” Annabeth returned. She took one step back from the Doctor, placed her weight evenly between her legs, crossed her arms, and stared at him. “I want him to explain what exactly he means by that.” A brief pause. The Doctor wasn’t smiling anymore, but he also didn’t look very nervous. He thought he could beat Percy and her together, no doubt. Annabeth wasn’t sure that wasn’t wrong.
“I didn’t call you. You’re lying. I don’t know who you are, monster, or which god sent you up here from Tartarus, but your trick isn’t going to work on me.”
“Monster? Tartarus? No, no, you’ve got me all wrong. Strictly speaking I’m not quite human, truth be told, but I’m not one of your Greek monsters. I’m not here to destroy your camp. I told you, I’m here because you called me.”
A booming thud sounded from outside. Annabeth whipped her head around to the noise.
“That was the Ares kids’ canon,” Percy said aloud. He was right. And the Ares kids didn’t use that canon unless something big was happening. They didn’t use that thing unless Camp Half-Blood was under attack. Annabeth’s muscles tensed. She needed to finish up here, and then get outside. She turned back to the Doctor.
“Like I said, Annabeth Chase, I’m here because you called me. And it looks like I got here none too soon.”
The Demigods and the Blue Box
“Annabeth?” asked Percy, lightly tapping her shoulder.