Hello, I'm back again, and this time, I want to focus more on the sideliners. And thus I tell you of my speculations for Alice and Julia, daughters of Hermes. It was also mentioned that Hermes had two daughters in L.A. and a son in Wisconsin in The Last Olympian, so I wanted to explore some of these brief moments and references. And... here we go!

Also bear in mind that the timeline is moved a little forward to accommodate the canonical anachronisms.

Alice Miyazawa – Give It Up For My Sister!

The clock was ticking down fast to 11:58, just two minutes before lunch break. Their Math teacher, Miss Belcher, was still rambling on and on about… whatever she was on about. The teacher's pets were dutifully scribbling down everything that spouted from their master's mouth. Other kids were snoozing, daydreaming, or playing the most hit games of the year on their phones. She looked down at her open textbook, and noticed she had absent-mindedly doodled the image of two serpents on a pole over diagram Miss Belcher had previously claimed would be on an upcoming test, while said teacher was lecturing. Oh well, she could always talk the teachers into giving her – and her best friend, i.e. sister in all but blood, for good measure – a decent enough grade to move on to the next year at Goldwood Middle School, as she always had.

Speaking of her best friend, Julia turned around to her and winked, grinning that impish smirk that she saw every time she looked in the mirror before school. It was a bit odd that they managed to perfect identical smirks and other facial expressions, but she had learnt not to question it since the time they snuck into the closed candy store and stole all the Mentos there. If the security footage didn't catch them, then they knew it had to be some sort of miracle involved in their lives.

Her eyes zoomed up to the clock again, and her heart lurched as she almost missed the countdown. San, ni, ichi–!

The obnoxiously catchy tune of Baby boomed from the overhead loudspeakers. A few of the girls in the classroom screamed out the lyrics alongside Justin Bieber. Julia swiped the untouched earphones of the annoying Prep Caleigh Scully that sat next to her, in the middle of the chaos. All the other kids covered their ears as the earworm snuck into their minds again. Even Miss Belcher had stopped talking to shield her ears from the noise blasting into – and scarring – the eardrums of the denizens of Goldwood.

Within practically no time at all, the lunch bell rang, and nearly everyone in the classroom fled, desperate to get away from any place on the campus with connections to the intercom system. Miss Belcher, however, didn't budge. "Miss Miyazawa–" she winced as her name was butchered by her wheezy voice, "please remain behind, I must speak to you. The rest of you, off you go."

The shrill lunch bell continued to reverberate in her head as she just stood in her seat, brown gaze meeting cold violet. Did Miss Belcher know she was the one to rig the intercom while Julia trashed the school office and made off with all their stationery? Her instincts screamed at her to run with the rest of the class, even if it mean having to listen to Caleigh Scully taunt her for being an immigrant (as if her ancestors weren't immigrants!), but her okaa-san had taught her everything she knew and even she didn't dare disobey a teacher's direct orders (provided they weren't too unreasonable, of course).

She exchanged glances with Julia, who nodded in response, then cautiously retreated from the room, but left the door open behind her. She continued to perch on her desk, but was prepared to run at first notice, honed by years of training in Track and Field.

Miss Belcher walked closer to her, staring at her in the eyes without so much of a blink, until they were right in front of each other. A CLANG rang out as the teacher's knee knocked at the desk. She forced herself to continue locking her gaze with the teacher's, with fiery ginger hair framing her target's pale face and clothes that would most certainly have her dress-coded were she a student at the school. She could have graduated just a few years ago and was taking advantage of the freedom, but Julia hadn't found any inkling of a Belladonna Belcher in the school records (legitimately, of course, she was correspondent for the School Newspaper), despite her claims of being a recent graduate.

"Look at me, Alice Miyazawa." Her voice was deliberately sweet and yet sharp like a chef's knife, cutting right through her and exposing her very soul – so unlike her usual wheezing tones. "Tell me, young half-blood, are you proud of the things your brother has done?" She wasn't very surprised by the 'half-blood' claim, having a white father (or so she was told and continually mocked for), but her eyebrows still shot upward like a rocket at the question.

"Brother?" The word inadvertently slipped from her mouth. Her brother? She had a brother? The girl with a disowned immigrant single mother, who worked day and night in the media, had a brother?

Miss Belcher continued as if she had said nothing at all. "That Castellan boy," she scoffed as if addressing dog droppings on her boots, "had the nerve to betray our master last month, and since my sisters weren't given the chance to tear his pathetic body apart, we settled for devouring the rest of you as collateral damage instead."

A million questions rushed through her mind. What 'Castellan'? What 'master'? I'd assume your so-called master is your boss but isn't that the principal – wait, "devour" as in "consume" and "eat"? Who are you and what are you talking about? Why didn't the principal notice that he hired a cannibal? Why don't American classrooms have a sasumata like back in Nihon?

"However," the possibly-not-a-teacher paused, giving her a toothy grin, "if you confess to your brother's sins in his stead, I might just spare your life – eh, forget that," she then proceeded to contradict herself, "I'll just make your death quick and painless, unlike what that Jermaine Donson got.

Alice's mind whirred in realization. Jerry Donson, a senior in the high school section of the institute, who was rumoured to have done… questionable things to his female classmates and a bully whose name was only whispered in the hallways, as though saying it at a normal volume would result in a one-way trip to the ninth circle of Hell, had disappeared a week into the school year, nowhere to be found. His locker was left untouched and his desk at homeroom was messy as usual, as though he only left for the restroom and never returned to his seat.

Then her mind halted. DEATH? ME?!

"What do you mean, ma'am?" she feigned innocence. The last thing this cannibal could know was that she understood the implications behind her statement.

As the teacher (which she probably was not) continued to speak, her mind fogged over. She could only see a gleam of triumph in Miss Belcher's eyes, which were dimly glowing in the firelight – CRASH!

Miss Belcher's head turned, and her hypnotic gaze faded as a bulky, high school-aged girl burst into the room, sending a few desks flying as she leapt over them. She was brandishing a huge spear, tip crackling with electrical power. A long, bronze blade hung from her belt. When the effects of hypnotism finally faded, her head turned to Miss Belcher and her jaw dropped. Her flowing locks had turned into real, flickering flames. Her eyes were just as cold and slightly maniacal as… before the transformation, but they were red like freshly spilled blood. The teacher – no, cannibal – had leapt out of her knee-high boots, revealing a bronze prosthetic right leg and a furry donkey's leg, complete with hoof, substituting her left.

"What the heck is going on?" The words tumbled out in Japanese without thinking. The newcomer only glanced at her without saying anything, then commanded, "Run, kid! I'll take care of the empousa!"

Alice had no idea what an empousa was, but she bolted, putting all her training into fleeing the fanged monstrosity as a desk burst into flames behind her. She could only hope the big girl knew what she was doing.

Further down the hallway, she found Julia shouting to a Hispanic boy with a scabbard(?!) across his back, and another boy standing next to the broken fire alarm 'break glass' station. Both boys shared upturned eyebrows and a familiar gleam in their eyes (even though she had never seen them before), as if their only purpose there was to wreak havoc on the campus.

Suddenly, Julia turned to her again, and immediately asked, "Dō shita no?"

"My teacher says she wants to eat me, then a girl charged in with a freaking spear and started to fight – the empousa, she called it…" the words spilled rapidly out of her mouth, her brain still not switched back into Speak English mode, especially when her best friend asked her what had happened in her native tongue. (She still suspected that her mother had been giving Julia lessons since they befriended each other when they were five.)

The boy next to the 'break glass station' put his hands on her shoulders, such that she eventually stopped shaking (which she didn't notice). His smile turned more genuine. "It's okay. I'm sure Clarisse can take care of the empousa," he surprisingly responded in the same language. (Does he take Japanese in high school? Where did he learn to speak in Nihongo?) "My name is Cecil. I'm here to take you to a safe place."

"A safe place?" Her eyes shifted from the smoke emerging from the open doorway. Miss Belcher – the empousa – had probably set the teacher's desk on fire with her flaming hair or something like that. Considering how closely the desks were packed together in the room… she had no doubt the school would be called out for creating such a fire hazard. Maybe that's why this guy – Cecil – pressed the fire alarm.

"Listen," Cecil continued. "Have you ever seen… strange things happen to and around you? Strange… people, especially those that want to kill you?" A hazy memory of a boy in their class last year, Parker Linden, popped up in her brain. He had an unusual leg-affecting disease, and disappeared sometime after summer break. And then there were the carnivorous pigeons in San Francisco and the eight-foot tall baseball coach that almost swung her head off with an iron bat when she tried out for the school team… (He didn't even get fired!)

"Weird events with no reasonable explanation… like that earthquake four years ago?" WHAT?!

"The earthquake?" she vaguely recalled watching the news broadcast, when some mad kidnapper dueled his teenaged victim and got away after hitting a gas main just after the disaster, leaving the Santa Monica beach area devastated with fires and debris. "That earthquake – and the kidnapping incident with Percy Jackson – that has something to do with this?" She gestured at the blaring fire alarm and the fight in the classroom.

"It has everything to do with 'this'," confirmed the guy with the scabbard, with an almost wistful smile. A moment later, the crackling of electricity sizzled… something living, and Scabbard Guy pulled out a bronze sword(!) in response. "Let's hope Clarisa doesn't need backup, 'cos if she does, we're kinda screwed."

The large girl – "Clarisse" – appeared and gruffly told everyone, peering from the doorway. "Let's get going before the mortals or more monsters show up. You got the newbies, Chris, Markowitz?"

"Yeah, Clarisa, we got –" Scabbard Guy – Chris? – replied, before being rudely interrupted with a rough "excuse me?"

That was when Julia reached out and stuck Chris' sword (sheesh, she's fast!) into the source of the voice that gave Alice nightmares for weeks. The coach's eyes rolled back and he exploded into a pile of dust.

"A Laistrygonian too? Sh!t, we'd better get outta here fast." Chris beckoned for them to follow him, and not a couple of minutes later, they had hopped into a white van with the words Delphi Strawberry Service printed on the side. She reckoned they weren't kidnappers if they used such a conspicuous van for transportation.

"Nice moves, other girl," Clarisse told Julia before she slammed the driver's door shut, and within two minutes, they were on the road.

DATE OF WRITING: 9-13 February 2020

DATE OF EDITING: 24 & 27 February 2020

I actually have no idea how American schools work and so everything is credited to research. I hope I did a decent job at portraying that.

Cecil's linguistic abilities are credited to The Story of Cecil by Erikthonius (AO3).

I feel like Clarisse would have definitely softened up after the events of BotL and TLO. She's still gruff and mean on the outside, and she's not the best with kids, but she's grown up since TLT and would be heading off to college the next year, so she probably would have matured a bit (at least).

I'll work on Julia's perspective if I get five reviews/comments (combined across both sites) on this fic! Give me some ideas/headcanons if you don't mind.