|“||So, to sum up: in three days, we’re facing an invasion from two evil emperors, their armies, and fifty ships with weapons we don’t understand, along with another wave of undead like the one that nearly destroyed us last time, when we were a lot stronger. If that’s the bad news, what’s the bad news?||”|
Dakota was a Roman demigod son of Bacchus and the senior centurion of the Fifth Cohort. He enjoyed partying but knows when to be serious if the time calls for it. He died of zombie inflicted injuries sustained during the Battle of San Francisco Bay.
Dakota is introduced as the commanding officer of the Fifth Cohort and accepts Percy Jackson into the group. He sits with Percy, Hazel Levesque, and Frank Zhang and tells Percy the back story about their cohort's bad reputation, including losing the eagle and most of the legion's weapons and some things about Jason. Due to his odd behavior, Percy asks Hazel if he is "always like that". Hazel replies that being the son of Bacchus, the wine god, Dakota had a "drinking problem". Alarmed, Percy asks her disbelievingly if they let him drink wine. Hazel, slightly taken aback, replies that Dakota could not drink wine, as he was underage, and if the camp let him, there would be more than a few "problems". Therefore, he drinks red Kool-Aid, but with triple the amount of sugar, and with his ADHD and dyslexia, he seems drunk. Hazel also believes that "one of these days, Dakota's head will explode from all that Kool-Aid".
Dakota and Gwen later lead the fifth cohort into battle during the war games. Even though initially the fifth cohort was taking the pounding, after Percy, Hazel and Frank manage to enter the enemy base the rest of the cohort charge is led by Dakota.
Dakota appears again during the battle against Polybotes' army at Camp Jupiter. Percy hands him the retrieved eagle, which he uses to destroy the monsters and lead the Legion into battle. He also becomes much more serious once handed the eagle, because of how important it is to him and the legion.
Later in Charleston, when the Romans led by Octavian and Reyna attacks the Argo II, Dakota is seen fighting Jason but Jason hits him over the head with his gladius and knocks him out, although it is shown that Jason was sorry about it, as he said, "Sorry about this, Dakota!"
When Nico, Reyna, and Hedge come to camp, he, Leila, and Michael Kahale arrive in a boat to arrest Reyna and Nico for treason. Coach Hedge tried to attack Michael but is disarmed and had his club broken by Michael. Hedge is enraged and nearly started a fight but he was kept back by Reyna and Nico. Dakota kept winking at Reyna. Suddenly Octavian appears and orders everyone to drop their weapons. As they do so, it is revealed to be Tyson who knocked out Michael and almost knocked out the others before Reyna stopped him. They said they were going to switch sides and declare their loyalty to her. They tell her Octavian's "reinforcements" outnumbered the legion. She sends them and Nico to stop Octavian from attacking the camp. The three of them dock and drag Kahale to shore. Nico summons Jules-Albert to drive the three demigods to the Roman base camp. Along the way see the monsters Octavian recruited. They arrive and the centurions try to recruit their cohorts. Dakota arrives with the Fifth and declares his loyalty to Reyna and Octavian tries to get him arrested because of treason as well. This distraction gives Nico, Lou Ellen Blackstone, Cecil, and Will Solace enough time to disable several onagers they were soon discovered. Meanwhile, the Greeks arrived and were about to attack the Roman Legion which was in chaos and surrounded by monsters. The Earth mother Gaea then wakes and Athena Parthenos is delivered shortly after Gaea wakes. He, his cohort and the Greeks fight their way through monsters to rescue three other cohorts completely surrounded by monsters.
After the battle he is seen with his Greek half siblings enjoying Kool-Aid. He returns to Camp Jupiter a few days later with the rest of the Romans.
Two days later he is shocked to hear what the weapons Triumvirate Holdings will use against the camp. He later participates in the camp archery class taught by Apollo and does alright.
The following night he and most of the Fifth Cohort are guarding New Rome during the second wave of the assault. They are ambushed by Tarquin's zombies from below. He is attacked and heavily injured by the zombies and dies of his wounds the following day. His funeral pyre is said to smell of Kool-Aid.
Nero mentions the son of Bacchus when listing the names of those who died wherever Apollo went. The mortal god later mentions him when thinking of those who sacrificed their lives for him.
Dakota has an addiction to red Kool-Aid, which he drinks with triple the normal amount of sugar. Combined with his ADHD, his hyperactive behavior causes people to believe he is extremely drunk, being a son of Bacchus. He cares for his fellow legionnaires and sits down with Percy during dinner to welcome him to the camp. He has a deep respect for his comrades and is a well-chosen commander of the Fifth Cohort.
He is extremely loyal to the legion and knows the right person to follow, as he stuck with Reyna when she returned and turned his cohort against Octavian.
He is described as being tall and buff, with curly black hair. However, his mouth is almost always vampire red (according to Percy), due to his Kool-Aid addiction. Also, his eyes are blue, off-centered and don't quite line up, so everyone who looks at him feels as though the world is leaning, as put by Hazel.
- Dakota, a name of Native American origin, means "friend" and "ally." It may also mean "forever smiling."
- He shares his father's addiction to drinking, although he drinks Kool-Aid instead of wine, Diet Pepsi, or Diet Coke.
- Dakota and Luke both share a fondness for Kool-Aid.
- He always drinks red Kool-Aid with three times the normal sugar. According to Hazel, this makes him go crazy because of his ADHD.
- He is the only centurion in the Fifth Cohort to maintain the rank throughout The Heroes of Olympus series.
- As revealed in The Blood of Olympus, he is seventeen years old, but does not have a driver's license.
- In The Son of Neptune, Dakota is shown to be more inclined to be with popular people, as he sat with Hazel , Percy, and Frank because he felt obliged to welcome Percy.