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Fanfic / An Impractical Guide to Godhood

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"Kronos had a plan. It was destroyed under his eyes. So the Lord of Time's plan ensured every plan not his would die too. Olympus is more powerful than ever, but so is Perseus Jackson. And unfortunately for them, the soul governing his body is not big on loyalty."
Summary of Impractical guide to Godhood

Antony444 takes a stab at a crossover between The Camp Half-Blood Series and A Practical Guide to Evil. A change of fate sees Zeus kill Percy's mother when the boy is seven, and Percy ends up being replaced with a conniving Tyrant of Helike who plots to undermine Zeus.

The story can be read here on FanFiction.Net and here on Archive of Our Own.


This Fanfiction contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Early Appearance: Daedalus, Ethan, the Triumvirate Holdings emperors and several other characters show up much earlier than in canon.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Luke and Ethan. While they certainly aren't fond of most of the gods by any stretch of the imagination, they're not traitors working for the Titans here either like they were in canon.
    • The Minotaur, although the "heroism" part is very much up for debate considering that Percy isn't exactly a paragon of virtue. In canon, the Minotaur was one of the earliest monsters that Percy battled, and later battled against him again as a servant of the Titans. Here, however, he's one of Percy Jackson's most loyal friends and allies, and he doesn't show any aversion to working alongside the demigods who are members of the Suicide Squad.
    • Downplayed with the Telekhines. Unlike in canon, where they are servants of Kronos fighting against Percy, the Telekhines are firmly allied with Kairos!Percy after he successfully kills the Ice Drakon and reclaims the Forge of All Perils for the Telekhines. However, while the trope may be in effect functionally, it's made abundantly clear that the Telekhines are still just as brutal and monstrous in this universe as in canon, and that they joined Percy due to having aligned interests and common goals rather than any moral improvements.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: As Percy, Kairos Theodosian appears to be slightly kinder than the original Tyrant was in canon, at least to his allies. This is made especially prominent at the beginning of the fic, in which even Kairos!Percy himself is surprised by how much he genuinely loved his mother Sally Jackson and was enraged over her death (especially since he didn't give a single flying fuck about any of his relatives as Kairos). He also shares a few moments of sincerity towards his few allies without hiding a metaphorical knife to stab them in the back from what we can see (although part of this might be based on pragmatism, as he's fully aware of how utterly stupid it would be to betray potential allies when he's trying to fight an enemy as powerful as Zeus.)
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Kairos!Percy's relationships with various gods and goddesses are DRASTICALLY different in this fic compared to canon. Canonical Percy had a positive relationship with Artemis and a neutral relationship with Zeus, but Kairos!Percy's relationships with them are decidedly and irredeemably negative. By contrast, Dionysus was more or less indifferent to Percy with occasional showings of Jerk with a Heart of Gold behavior in canon, but he and Kairos!Percy are genuinely and openly friendly in this fic to the point that Percy calls him "Douglas" in public and gets away with it. Kairos!Percy also has a much more positive relationship with Hades in this fic, to the point that he is willing to conspire and work along with Hades despite his general contempt for the Olympian Pantheon. The most notable aversion to this trope is with Poseidon, whom both versions of Percy have a positive relationship with.
    • From what we see of their interactions, Luke has a more positive relationship with Hermes than his canon version. Thus, we don't see him harbor the resentment that his canon version did, which would eventually have led to him becoming a traitor working for the titans.
  • …And That Little Girl Was Me: At one point, Perseus tells the story of his previous life, and how a noble and charismatic prince was overthrown by his evil uncle. Said prince became a mercenary to raise the funds and troops needed to regain his throne, but his plans were cut short by a crossbow bolt in the throat. Bianca correctly guesses that Perseus was the evil uncle.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing Hera's status as the goddess of marriage causes her to behave unpleasantly toward gods and goddesses who father or conceive demigods (read: just about all of them who aren't celibate), making her Hated by All. Consequently, after Perseus engineers her downfall, he and his companions are showered with gifts by all of Hera's many enemies.
  • Apple of Discord: The Stoll twins provoke a fight between the Daughters of Aphrodite by tossing a present labelled "For the hottest" into their midst. They later repeat this prank with the Hunters of Artemis, only in that case the label says "For the best shot."
  • Bait-and-Switch: Persephone casts a summoning spell to bring the being who hates Percy most, expecting to summon Zeus so that he can take out Percy. Instead, the spell summons the Suicide Squad member who Percy turned into an alligator for trying to kill him.
  • Batman Gambit: Kairos!Percy's plan to take advantage of the conflict between the Big Three (Zeus, Poseidon, Hades) to create an anti-Olympus faction, with Poseidon and Hades joining forces against Zeus.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Persephone manages to get herself free from Hades. Then she learns that since she's no longer married to the wealthiest god in the pantheon, she no longer has access to his effectively bottomless bank accounts, and the alimony Hades is paying her is nowhere near large enough to support her spending habits.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Making cheeseburgers out of Apollo's sacred cows is not a way to make friends with him.
    • Calling the Hunters of Artemis an "evil lesbian cult" makes their patron goddess and her lieutenant erupt into fury.
  • Big Sister Instinct: When Jackson makes it clear that he's going to conscript someone from the Aphrodite Cabin for his quest, Sileena repeatedly tries to volunteer to protect her half-siblings.
  • Blatant Lies: Kairos!Percy lies as easily as he breathes, and he is able to use the truth as a weapon to manipulate others just as effectively.
  • Broken Ace: Kairos!Percy is the strongest and most cunning Demigod of his generation, he managed to wage one man Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Zeus and survive but he is completely alone with almost no ally or even place to call home.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Hera is stripped of her divinity and exiled to New Byzantium as punishment for her crimes in the first interlude.
  • Cassandra Truth: The one time Kairos!Percy honestly tells Zoe how the medallion from Selene will hurt her, Zoe chose to ignore and even threaten him into surrendering the medallion. Needless to say, it ends up badly for Zoe.
  • Character Development: Several of Percy's companions, most notably Drew Tanaka. She starts off as her canon Alpha Bitch self and begs not to go on the quest, saying she doesn't want to die. However, under Percy/Kairos's guidance, she learns some impressive skills, while also displaying some empathy for other characters and disgust for Zeus's misdeeds.
    • Annabeth Chase is also a notable example. During the first Great Quest in the Underworld, she is arguably the most loyal member of the Suicide Squad to Olympus next to Zoe Nightshade and is willing to conspire with Zoe against Percy. In the leadup to and within the second Great Quest, however, while she isn't hesitant to criticize and challenge Percy's ideas, she also comes to recognize and acknowledge Percy's intelligence and authority underneath his frivolous nature and seeming insanity. The best example of this is when she sees the Dark Parthenon that houses Alcyeonus, as despite being bitter and furious at the insult to her mother Athena and desiring to destroy it herself, she accepts and heeds Percy's warning about the Guardian within the Dark Parthenon being far too powerful for her to face (unlike some mutinous Legionnaires who disregard Percy's order and suffer horribly for it). She also goes from being tempted to join Artemis' Hunt to being completely disgusted by the Huntresses of Artemis during the Second Great Quest, openly (and rightfully) showing her contempt for how useless they are and their rabid, irrational, and unjustified hatred for men.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Kairos!Percy will any means necessary to win fight from using traps, to insult.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Venus' "fight" against Kairos!Percy lasts exactly one hit, and it would have easily ended up with the demigod's death if Venus had been aiming to kill Percy instead of keeping up appearances while hiding their alliance.
    • Hades' battle against Bianca (who previously took him prisoner through trickery) is ridiculously lopsided.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Lou Ellen reluctantly joins the Suicide Squad mainly because Percy/Kairos proves that he has spells he can teach her and then goadingly asks her if she wants to embrace greatness or mediocrity.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Hades. Despite being the God of what's essentially the Greek equivalent of Hell, he easily comes across as one of the fairest, most reasonable, and most sympathetic Gods in the setting. This also makes him one of the few Gods that Percy has any sort of respect for and also one of the few that he has a positive relationship with.
  • Deadpan Snarker : Kairos!Percy and everyone around him get afflicted with this eventually.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Perseus is quick to point out how the process for selecting and training troops for the expedition to recover the Golden Fleece is centered around heavy infantry fighting a land war... when the Fleece was last seen in a tropical archipelago teeming with sea monsters. This plays a major part in why the first attempt fails miserably.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Percy Jackson prefers to be called Perseus here.
  • Doorstopper: Over 300K words and the Sea of Monsters arc isn't finished yet.
  • The Dragonslayer: The Forge of All Perils is home to a Godzilla-sized Frost Drakon named Fimbulvetr, and the Suicide Squad has to kill it to claim the island as their base.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Kairos!Percy might be a villain and proud of it, but even he is genuinely disgusted by the atrocities committed by his half-brother Chrysaor as a pirate and a slaver.
  • Exact Words: How Kairos!Percy manipulates others. Even if he is speaking the truth, what he says is most certainly not what he means.
  • Forced Transformation:
    • Two of Jackson's companions in his first quest are turned into a crocodile and a donkey. Neither is happy about it, especially because one of the transformations is permanent.
    • People getting turned into penguins is a Running Gag in the second quest.
  • Genre Savvy : Kairos!Percy's experience from Calernia made him this.
  • Give Me a Sword: After being captured by Blackbeard, General Failure Centurion Bryce Lawrence defiantly says "give me a gladius-", presumably daring his captor to fight him. However, he doesn't get a chance to finish his sentence before Blackbeard gives him a gladius by ramming one of the swords through Bryce's chest.
  • Gold Digger: Zeus' divorce causes a lot of single goddesses (possibly prompted by a mischievous Percy) to realize that there's a new opening for Queen of Olympus, which they all try for simultaneously.
  • Good Parents: From what we can see, both Poseidon and Amphitrite seem to be this to Percy, trying to help him out as much as they are allowed to without risking Zeus' wrath and interference. The fact that all three of them share the same contempt of Zeus certainly helps.
    • Sally Jackson was also this to Percy, giving Kairos!Percy his first genuine feelings of love and compassion for another family member...along with genuine rage and desire for vengeance when she is killed by Zeus.
  • Got Volunteered: Not all of Perseus's companions on his quest come willingly. He intimidates Drew Tanaka into coming, while the Hephaestus and Demeter cabins both bring out a manacled kid who is forced to volunteer in exchange for the forgiveness of a past transgression.
  • Hypocrite: Demeter calls Apollo this for his making cracks about Zeus' chronic infidelity, seeing as Apollo sleeps around just as much if not more than his father does. Apollo counters that unlike his father, he has never been married, engaged, or otherwise made any promises regarding exclusive relationships, and therefore has never broken his word about such things.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: A Roman who volunteers for the Suicide Squad in year two has a bad cough and says that a magical curse is slowly killing him and he needs the money the quest offers to afford decent healers. He dies in battle well before his medical issues become a problem.
  • It Only Works Once: When asked if they will use the Labyrinth to sneak into the Sea of Monsters like they did the Underworld, Perseus gives a number of reasons why they can't, starting with him not knowing the route through the Labyrinth to the Sea of Monsters, and ending with the difficulty of carrying a boat through the Labyrinth in the event that the exit, should they find one, not being on the correct island in the archipelago.
  • Jerkass Gods: Antony444 stated that the inspiration for this story was thinking that the Gods of the Camp Half-Blood series were unworthy of a Champion as loyal as the canon Percy Jackson, so he wanted to give them the hero they deserved. He couldn't think of one, so he gave them Kairos Theodosian instead.
    • In practice, how "Jerkass" the gods of the Olympian Pantheon are varies from god to god, and this usually correlates to how friendly or hostile their relationship is to Percy. Zeus and Artemis are easily at the top of the list and unsurprisingly are the most antagonistic to Percy. Athena downplays this trope, as while she is relatively cold and aloof, she is also strategically level-headed and is willing to support Percy because it is both intelligent and practical to do so. Gods like Hades, Poseidon, and Dionysus have positive relationships with Percy and fully avert this trope, at least from what we've seen so far.
  • Kill Steal: Clarisse yells "kill stealer" when a minotaur friend of Percy's kills some skeleton thugs before she can.
  • Kinslaying Is a Special Kind of Evil: There are rules about kinslaying among the demigods (to a certain degree of kinship, as the tangled family tree of the Olympians means that just about everyone is related to everyone else somehow). Even Perseus is leery of breaking those rules, and calls for outside arbitration on the acceptable limits of punishment he can inflict on his half-brother Chrysaor to avoid breaking them.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: A major part of Perseus' unpopularity with most of the Pantheon stems from his looting of drachmas and magical goods from storehouses owned by the gods.
  • Leonine Contract: A group of Roman legionaries who narrowly survived the first quest into the Sea of Monsters receive an offer to regroup with the Suicide Squad under terms their leader views as risky and insulting, and which would put them completely under Percy's control. They accept the deal anyway because it also comes with transportation off the island and the messengers have just captured the cursed guardian of the island, meaning that the stranded legionnaires will likely be cursed to replace her if they stay on the island much longer.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Like Dionysius, Perseus enjoys calling people by the right initials but the wrong name as a way of showing either disdain or vitriolic affection. He even greets Dionysus as "Douglas" after being called "Peter Johnson."
    Perseus: Name?
    Perseus: Thank you for volunteering, Dorothy.
  • Mouth of Sauron:
    • Prince Triton speaks for his father Poseidon while the god of the oceans is in exile as penance for impregnating Sally Jackson. He also makes sure to get in some barbs about how Zeus has erred far more grievously than Poseidon, but has refused to undertake a similar penance.
    • The Don of the Telekhines sends his eldest son to negotiate ownership of a forge Percy has seized that once belonged to the Telekhines the moment he gets the news, as the negotiations are too high-stakes and confidential to risk doing over the phone and it will take Don Lino a lot longer to reach the forge.
  • Not Me This Time: Apollo blames Eris for a massive catfight among the single goddesses and nature spirits over who will seduce and marry the newly divorced Zeus. Eris states that they were already squabbling before she arrived. It's implied that this was Percy's fault.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The conclusion of Perseus's first quest sees one God Brought Down to Normal, several demigods beat a god in combat, two Mount Olympus couples divorcing, a new co-ruler of the Underworld, and more.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: A core part of Kairos!Percy's character. Even though he acts in ways that seem completely insane, foolish, or suicidal to most outsiders, he is actually an incredibly methodical and careful planner who hides his incredibly cunning mind underneath a veneer of madness. More than one enemy more powerful than him has underestimated him and paid a heavy price for it.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Caligula adds a rule to his notably rule-free circus prohibiting Eleutherian Wine after seeing what happened when Perseus forced Dakota to drink half a barrel of the stuff.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • With Kairos!Percy, a joking demeanor, extreme confidence, a complete lack of taking anything seriously, and trolling behavior is the norm. So whenever he drops this attitude and is being deadly serious about thing, you know that what he's talking about is extremely important and more than likely very bad news for everyone involved.
    • There are certain deities and entities who Perseus treats with complete respect and utmost politeness, dropping any and all antagonistic or trolling tendencies, because they are beings who Percy genuinely respects and fears the wrath of. These deities include Amphitrite, Hades, and the Earth Mother, Gaia.
    • The Huntresses of Artemis and Percy are very much antagonistic to each other 99% of the time. So it says volumes that when Percy mocks Heracles and openly admits that he understands why Zoe hates men so much after meeting him, the Huntresses of Artemis actually cheer him on for the first and probably only time.
  • Parental Incest: Apollo is squicked when he realizes that the newly divorced Persephone is now sleeping with Zeus.
  • Pass the Popcorn: During a quarrel between Zeus and Hera, Apollo summons bags of popcorn for everyone. Perseus and quite a few gods actually eat it as they watch the show.
  • Quickly-Demoted Leader: Perseus was not the original leader of the group of Questers that would become known as the Suicide Squad, but he usurped leadership fairly quickly because he had a plan to get into the Underworld and Luke Castellan didn't.
  • Red Shirt Army: The legionnaires sent after the Golden Fleece suffer rapid attrition against the various threats in the Sea of Monsters, and few of them survive direct combat with a serious enemy unless that enemy wants prisoners or defectors. Only five ships out of thirteen survive long enough for Athena to recommend withdrawing their forces from the region, and one of those ships is too damaged to leave the island it settled on.
  • Refuge in Audacity: According to Kairos!Percy the more insane a plan is, the more likely it is to work. Given what he has already accomplished so far, it seems to be working wonders for him so far.
  • Rules Lawyer: Perseus indulges in this. One notable incident is that because Zeus didn't provide the Suicide Squad any form of support on the Great Quest, but does demand a substantial tithe of all booty taken in the Quest to be delivered to Athena, Perseus then twists it so that Athena becomes the recipient of the tribute rather than just its collector in exchange for a blessing, using the fact that the Patron Goddess of Questers had aided the Heroes the most to stiff the King of the Gods.
  • The Scapegoat: Hera gets blamed for everything she did do and everything she didn't after the stolen Lightning Bolt is returned, and suffers the bulk of Zeus's wrath as a result.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Zeus deciding to try to eliminate the possibility of Perseus being the prophesied one via a lightning bolt that killed his mother is what made him decide to oppose the gods in the first place.
  • Ship Tease: Kairos!Percy has this sort of interaction with a few other members of the Suicide Squad. The first and most prominent is Lou Ellen, to the point that the two of them have outright kissed on at least one occasion. There is also some element of this between Percy and Bianca di Angelo/Dread Empress Triumphant, although in that case whatever tease there is very much falls under the category of Belligerent Sexual Tension. The trope is also lampshaded repeatedly between Percy and Annabeth, although in practice there is fairly little in terms of romantic overtones between the two and the actual ship tease regarding Annabeth seems to be between her and Luke instead (which Percy actually encourages).
  • Shout-Out
  • Skewed Priorities : When Persephone about to smite The Suicide Squad, Kairos!Percy decides to demonstrate the function of Poseidon's Trident, stealing rum from one of Poseidon's personal cellars. Poseidon later tells him that he has to replace the liquor he drank.
  • Stripperific:
    • Apollo calls one of Aphrodite's dresses "two steps away from being appropriate for a porn star."
    • X-Suits may provide magical protection against sub-arctic temperatures, but they also look and wear like thin, skintight, white latex bodysuits. At least two hookups happen in the Suicide Squad as a result of members seeing other members wearing one. The S-Suits, which are designed for underwater environments, are similarly revealing, but in black.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: In a fairly literal example, Percy defeats the Triumvirate fleet by tracking down Moby Dick and having Drew take control of the gigantic god-forged robot whale.
  • Take a Third Option: A fairly literal example. The Suicide Squad has two ways to enter the Sea of Monsters, both of which are so nasty that this is essentially a Catch-22 Dilemma. They can enter through the Crashing Rocks, and have a high chance of being sunk with all hands, or they can risk the Scylla-Charybdis Straight, which is somewhat less dangerous, but since the Triumvirate knows this, they have placed a good-sized fleet on the other side to ambush anyone coming through. Percy decides to create a new entrance instead.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Kairos!Percy will never stop talking matter how dangerous the situation is, it's also tied with his ability to convince his enemy of anything once he starts talking, either with logic, charisma, or sheer audacity.
  • This Explains So Much: After Percy meets Hercules, the God of Strength's attitude and demeanor cause him to comment that now he has a better understanding of why Zoe Nightshade became such a misandrist after he seduced and used her.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • The Huntresses of Artemis spend so much effort on hating Percy for being male and disliked by Zeus and Artemis that they never pay attention to the fact that he is very competent (if insane), and if he says something is dangerous, he means it.
    • The Legionnaires sent to capture the Golden Fleece start out by preparing to fight the wrong kind of war, then sail right into an ambush and get slaughtered. And when some of the survivors are rescued by the Suicide Squad, they show that they have learned nothing from this by mutinying against Perseus three times over the course of a week, each time ending disastrously for them.
  • Uriah Gambit: The Great Quest to retrieve the Master Bolt is woefully underprepared because Zeus wants the war that will happen if it fails and is hoping that Perseus will die in the attempt. Perseus is fully aware of this, which is why he lampshades it by calling his team the Suicide Squad.
  • Verbal Backspace: Dionysus does a lot of this whenever Zeus gets annoyed at his excesses and approval of Perseus.
    Dionysus: You did a great service to...I mean it's dreadful, absolutely dreadful. I will have to taste...I mean I will have to confiscate all of the barrels of Eleutherian Wine in your possession.
  • We Have Reserves: Artemis has 5,000 huntresses, meaning that, as Perseus points out, she has little incentive to directly intervene to protect one or two of them in a losing battle.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": Perseus names his new hellhound Zoe just to annoy Zoe Nightshade.
  • Wham Line: The Lightning Thief, speaking of her previous life: "Once I ruled and was Triumphant."
  • With This Herring: One of the major signs of the fact that Zeus wants Percy's Great Quests to fail is that the Questers receive virtually no support. On the first Quest, he has to go out of his way just to make sure that they'll be paid if they succeed.
  • Worthy Opponent: Blackbeard shows open respect and amusement after Perseus uses unorthodox tactics to draw first blood against him when his armada has its first clash with the Suicide Squad and their allies.

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