Leo Valdez was probably in the most humiliating position of all. Sure, everyone else had been turned into animals as well but at least they got to be decent creatures. Leo got to be a puppy, with a little collar that read 'PROPERTY OF DIANA'. There was no way this goddess was sane, if she went around turning boys into dogs and labeling them as her property.
Normally, when dealing with mentals goddesses they all would have turned to Annabeth to tell them who the heck this goddess was, but Leo already knew. With the silver bow, moon necklace and cold gaze it was a dead giveaway. She was Artemis' Roman counterpart, and apparentally she still hated guys. Annabeth, Hazel and Piper all stood on the deck, still in human form, with their swords drawn.
Diana was a tall scowling woman, who wore a purple Roman styled toga and had placed a silver circlet on the top of her head. She would have been cool, if she hadn't just turned Leo and the guys into animals and plastered a hideous glower to her otherwise pretty face.
Leo nearly peed in confusion when Diana stooped low to the deck, plucked him up and started to scratch him behind his ears. Stop that! Oh...oh yeah right behind that ear...
Hazel stepped forward, sword wavering in her trembling hand. "Stop it! Stop doing whatever your doing and turn them back!" Her voice quivered slightly, and Leo didn't think she planned it that way. He gave a little kick of his rear legs, just so his friends wouldn't think he was enjoying the petting and that he was actually fighting back.
He turned his little chocolate Labrador head and barked. He hoped that sounded like rescue me! and not actually you can come back later, after she's done grooming me.
Percy at least got to be something non-degrading. Although...not like he could soar into the clouds when his long horse neck was chained to the railing. Yeah that's right, Perseus Jackson was a Pegasus, which Leo thought was kind of ironic since his dad basically made pegasi. The son of Poseidon snorted in the general direction of Diana and whinnied in irritation, flicking his tail to ward off flies. If Leo had to guess what was on his mind, he probably would have been saying like: At least give a horse some food!
Leo decided to save himself by thumping his tiny tail against Diana's face causing her to drop him out of surprise. Leo made a mad dash for his life, but those stubby legs and tiny paws couldn't take him far. Annabeth quickly gathered him up, but for the record he still squirmed.
Diana just laughed and pulled out a silver bow and a whatcha-ma-callit that holds arrows. Leo flinched, and he most certainly did not let out a pathetic whine of fear, when she pointed a silver tipped weapon of deadliness at him. Annabeth instinctevly took a step back, raising her hands shoulders slightly in a sign of I just want to talk.
"Diana, you are not in your right mind. Release these boys, they have done nothing wrong." Her voice was strong and commanding, like a daughter of Athena's should be.
Apparentally Diana realized the same thing. "Daughter of Minerva," She said calmly. She didn't lower the arrow, instead she pointed it straight Annabeth. Percy the Pegasus let out a loud snort and a hoof slammed on the deck, causing everyone to jump. Diana waved her hand and Percy collapsed to the ground in his demigod form, gasping and clawing at his throat, eyes wide in panic. Leo yelled in alarm- it came out as a bark- and scrambled from Annabeth's arms to scamper over to the fallen demigod. Percy was shaking as he struggled to his feet, clearly in pain as he cast a glance at his girlfriend then leaped over the railing into the sea.
"What did you do to him?" Piper demanded, holding the cornucupia higher, like she might bean the goddess with it.
"I merely turned his blood into poison." Diana rolled her eyes distastefully, turning back to Annabeth like she was disinterested already.
Annabeth swallowed and tried to look dignified, which was hard when there was a silver tipped arrow in your face and your boyfriend had been brutually poisned in front of you. "Yes Lady Diana. Your Greek counterpart...Artemis. We are friends with her. You wanted me to join the Hunt with you."
Diana's eyes narrowed. "But you left because of love."
Annabeth couldn't argue with that. "Yes, but Percy has done nothing wrong. Neither have Jason or Leo or Frank. We would be grateful if you let them go." Annabeth launched into the story of their quest, including Rome and Tartarus.
Diana never once showed signs of emotion. "So, this Frank is a shape shifter." She turned to Frank who once upon a time has been a hippopotamus but had changed shape to become a mouse during the time Annabeth was talking. He slipped out of the chains easily but froze when he caught Diana staring at him. She looked amused rather than upset, which was a plus.
"Impressive," She retracted her bow into a pin shaped like the crescent moon.
Jason shoved his furry shoulders at the cage he was in, obviously trying to get the hinges off the door.
"Jason Grace, son of Jupiter. I shall release you from the form of a fox because your friend Annabeth and Frank have saved your life." She turned to Leo. "Same for you." She said that like you should count your lucky stars.
Diana flicked her wrist and Jason became human (thankfully with his clothes on, Leo had been wondering how that would work). Piper ran forward and gathered the barely lifeless Jason in her arms. Being an animal must took a lot out of you, Leo had gained a healthy respect for Frank.Leo morphed back as well, which was embarrassing since he was just about to lift his leg to let the fluids go. He put his leg down and got up from all fours quickly, fllushing red.
Diana bore her brown eyes into all seven. "Be warned. I do not let my victims go so easily. You may have a good speaker, but remeber when you reach Greece beware the Curse of Diana."
And on that happy note she sank into darkness.
Percy appeared, in an explosion of water and rage, a hurricane swirling around him as he touched down on deck. Annabeth helped him calm down and led him to a chair where he flopped down and scratched his head, still wondering where Diana had gone. Leo went below deck to see if he could make a machine that would prevent any future godly visits.