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  • Christopher Lin

Theo's Journey

By: Christopher Lin
Posted on April 1, 2024
A photo of the Trevi Fountain.
Cover Image Title: Trevi Fountain
Cover Image by: Christopher Lin
Classification: Photography
Specifications: Resized from 4032 pixels X 3024 pixels
Location of Creation: Rome, Italy

“How many times do I have to do this, Theodore?” Irene sighed, disappointment etched across her face. “You’re already fourteen.”


“I’m sorry, mom,” Theo cast his gaze down, ashamed. “I'll make up for it.”


As he trudged back to class, Theo dwelled on what had happened. Ben, the school jock, once again relentlessly taunted him, leading to an explosive confrontation. He jolted back to reality when the classroom door creaked open. Theo looked up and saw it— a creature with slimy tentacles and sharp scales. Panic seized Theo as the monster seemed to scan the room. With his heart pumping, Theo shoved his chair back, shouting, “GET BACK!” Yet despite the impending danger, his classmates only started at him, bewildered.


As the monster closed in on Ben, there was a blinding flash of light. A figure clad head to toe in glistening armor appeared. With a mighty swing, the intruder cut through the monster, leaving nothing but ashes in its wake. The figure turned to Theo. “Theodore,” Lysander began, “I am a sentinel of Olympus, and I have been watching you. I mean no harm.As sentinels, we serve the gods of Olympus to watch for potential demigods and protect them from monsters. Then we go through The Change.” 


His eyes were a piercing shade of blue, meeting Theo’s with an intensity that sent shivers down his spine. “Theo, you possess the Sight,” Lysander said, “the ability to see Beyond, to see monsters that

hide in the shadows, and the heroes that stand in the light. This also means you are stronger than an ordinary mortal.”


Still in shock from everything happening, Theo stuttered: “What...who are you? What is happening?” Lysander sheathed his sword and stepped towards Theo. “You’re no ordinary boy. You are a demigod, a child of a god and a mortal. Your father is an Olympian. Your destiny awaits

you.” 


Theo hesitated, still overwhelmed with what had happened. "Demigod? Destiny? I'm just a kid trying to survive high school!"


Lysander nodded, understanding Theo's disbelief. "I understand your confusion, but you must come with me now. The monsters you can see will only get stronger, and you won't be able to protect yourself or those you care about without proper training."


Theo's mind raced. He thought of his mom, struggling with disappointment and financial burdens. The responsibility weighed heavily on his shoulders, but the urgency in Lysander’s eyes pushed him to a decision.


"I can't just leave my mom," Theo protested, his voice filled with conflict.


Lysander placed a hand on Theo's shoulder, his gaze softening. "Theo, by embracing your heritage, you'll be better equipped to protect her and others. This is your Call to Adventure, and I am here to be your mentor. I know this is all hard to process, I will explain on the way." 


Theo took a deep breath and nodded. With that, Lysander waved his hand and created a portal that led Theo into another realm. It was breathtaking, with divine landscapes, celestial beings, and towering buildings. On the way to initiation, Lysander explained everything, who he was, how he was able to see monsters, and his journey ahead. They reached the base, very much like the campus of a college, but instead of students there were demigods, fighting, dodging and having fun.


During the Initiation phase, Theo faced numerous tests, encountered allies in the form of fellow demigods, and battled fierce monsters that tested his newfound abilities. With each challenge, he grew stronger, both physically and emotionally. His journey became a crucible of self-discovery, shaping him into a hero marked by nobility of purpose. He made friends andenemies, and sent letters home to his worrying mother. With all this, came the final challenge. Every demigod had to face their parent’s fear, whether it was something small to another god that he or she rivaled, and Voltarius, the god of thunder, feared Netherus, the god of the underworld. As Theo approached the final obstacle, doubts clouded his mind. 


Lysander, who guided him to the underworld, gave him words of guidance and encouragement. “You have the strength within you, Theo. Face your fears, and you shall prevail.”


Silently, Theo crept up to the throne of Netherus but no one was there.


“I see they’ve sent another demigod.” The voice cut through the eerie silence like knife through butter. Netherus’s voice was soft, yet menacing. “What have the sentinels told you this time? That you have some divine right or that you’ll become a “hero of the world?”” 


Theo spun around, but all he could see was darkness. Darkness and death. “Show yourself, coward.” He lifted his celestial sword with steely determination.


“I AM NO COWARD,” Netherus boomed, his powerful voice ricocheting off the wall and rattling Theo’s bones.Finally,out stepped Netherus. Silent and unmoving, Netherus’s presence radiated death and power. “Then why hide from the other Olympians for eons? The only thing you should fear is fear itself. You should join the other gods.”

“Wise.” With those cold soulless eyes, Netherus stared deep into Theo’s soul before lashing out

with dark magic.


Thus began the battle. Although the god of the underworld unleashed his dark powers, Theo fought valiantly, drawing on the skills he had honed during his journey. Theo fought well, but one does not defeat the god of the underworld with just weeks of experience. Netherus suddenly  tripped backward. Seizing the chance, Theo immediately lunged forward.At the very last moment, Theo realized it was all a trick. But it was too late. With amazing speed, Netherus twisted and shot a blast of dark magic that hit Theo in the chest. Falling back, Theo gasped as the darkness consumed him. As his vision faded to black, he thought about his mother..


Looking down at the boy, Netherus shook his head and sighed. The boy shouldn’t have come down. He knew the consequences. But then again, what he said had been true. Maybe the only thing to fear is fear itself. He hated these conflicting thoughts. In a split second decision, he waved his hand and left.


Coughing, Theo opened his eyes. His vision was blurry, and his body felt lethargic and cold. Still dazed, he sat up and looked around. What had happened? He vaguely remembered a battle, but wasn’t sure who or what he fought. Lysander appearedbeside him,  with a glowing smile on his face. “You have survived, Theo.” A radiant light enveloped Theo, and Lysander presented him with a divine reward—a golden elixir that would heal wounds and bring hope to the world. Passing through the same portal, Lysander brought Theo back to the mortal realm, where he found himself standing in the same classroom where everything had begun. The wounds from his battle with Netherus were gone, replaced by a sense of purpose and power.


Just as Theo was about to express his gratitude for his mentor, Netherus appeared, his stern expression softening. He gruffly said, "Well done, young demigod. You have proven yourself a worthy and wise hero."


Returning home, Theo embraced his mom as she explained everything, who his father was, why he left, and the hardships that followed. So Theodore, once an ordinary 14-year-old boy, now possessed the wisdom and strength of a demigod-to protect the world for the better.


[The End]


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