This is an authors note from the author, me. To the readers, you. It's going to be short, as I only have one thing to say. Thanks for reading and I love you all!
The cars glinted in the sunlight as they drove in a line down the one lane road with nothing but flat land and shrubbery on both sides. They looked an awful lot like a group of mob gangsters going for a cruse on a nice day. All of it being compliments of Catalina and Bunny.
Kiley had profusely thanked them for all the gifts they had given them before going. That night as everyone slept, and Kiley had stayed up all night with Catalina, she had told Kiley that she and her companions were free to take as much as they needed from those people to supply their quest for saving Aphrodite. After all, Bunny herself was one of the love goddess's children so she felt obliged to aid their conquest.
When Catalina had pulled the tarp off her project Kiley had almost died of shock. Under it had been a midnight black '39 Roadster with chrome finders and bumpers. The interior was blood red and velvet along with a 400w Sony sound system and touch screen stereo. Catalina had even added a few half-blood upgrades to the vehicle like the bronze grill that had thousands of sharp and almost undetectable serrated razors all along it like the thorns on a rose bush. The passenger seat folded down to allow access to the arsenal of half-blood weapons in the trunk of the car and a few other nasty little surprises built into the chassis. It was a gift for their group to use to drive across the rest of the U.S. to get to Washougal, Washington State where Victor was suspected to be. Kiley thanked her for it but Catalina had only smiled and told her that they were going to be given three other cars as well.
The two of them had spent the rest of the night modifying and building up the three other cars until the sun poked up over the hills and greeted the flat land with its golden rays. Soon after the rest of the household woke and came to greet them in the shop with Breakfast which Bunny and Cyan had prepared for everyone. Kiley gobbled down her breakfast burritos with an eagerness to get started and be on her way in her Roadster but after they ate Catalina took the time to introduce the drivers to their cars.
Jasmin would be driving a 2000 Nissan Silvia with 439 hp that, because of the stripped insides for less weight and more speed, only seated two. Ariel would be her passenger of course and Catalina showed them both how to strap themselves into the racing seats and how to activate the nitrous. How to use the flip switch which released Greek fire from the small pocket made to open in the drive train. Jasmin knew how to drive a manual so that was fast and easy. She acted extremely happy to be driving a rally car that went faster than most speeding trains did. Ariel, on the other hand, did not. Apparently Jasmin had a bad reputation for driving race cars at an ungodly speed and scaring everyone senseless in the car as she laughed like a maniac.
Melina would be in the third car which was a baby blue CJ with a lift kit and a snorkel. The windshield was laid back on the hood and there were no doors on the jeep which Melina felt a bit uneasy about until Catalina boosted her into the drivers seat and began to comfort her about it. It would seat four but the back seats were filled with food rations, medicine both godly and mortal, more deadly weapons, and a couple tanks of gas just in case something happened. Jade climbed into the seat next to her and immediately gripped the dashboard for support. Melina wasn't known for being the best driver there was.
Amber would be driving the last car which was a Silver Skyline that had an extended rear end to fit the racing tires on it Catalina told Kiley she had spent nearly 50 grand on those and the body kit that gave it that underground street racing look. It had a carbon fiber hood with a hood scoop that had butterfly flaps in it and fuel air intake. The red spoiler on the end contrasted the silver of the car and the black of the hood nicely. Amber loved it from the start, telling everyone how she had a boyfriend once who drove these kinds of cars in races for money and she stole it from him before leaving him. She was completely comfortable with the speeds it was capable off and climbed into the front seat where she started it up and revved the engine with a childish smile on her face.
Bunny hugged them all and wished them off with a kiss on the cheek. Cyan waved from Catalina's hip and her mother mimicked the child's movements as the group drove away. Kenny held the gate open while they drove through and, surprisingly, gave them all a small smile and a wave as they drove off.
Now they were nearing the boarder of Missouri and crossing into the next state that Kiley didn't know the name off. She didn't really memorize those sorts of things. Kiley drove at the head of the group with Amber, Jasmin and Ariel in the middle and Melina and Jade in the CJ at the end. They kept in touch over CB's Catalina and Kiley had screwed into the dashboard of each car. It was easy going and they drove day in day out, stopping only at night to set up camp and sleep in their cars for about three or four hours before getting back on the road. Very rarely did they encounter monsters on the road and if they did, they took care of it. In a quick orderly fashion and with military precision. Only once did a Cyclops get the best of them.
It had attacked them while each one had been asleep. Even though the fire had died down to coals by then the monster had found due to the purple glow they cast off and kicked the entire bed of hot, burning coals at their cars. Kiley got the worst of it being that her car was low to the ground and topless. She had woke up to a burning smell and realized it was her blankets catching flame and lumps of coals burning through her clothes and biting her skin with a malicious vendetta for catching them aflame in the first place. Her response was to scream and throw the blanket off and roll around in the sand which alerted the monster and he charged at her. There were a few injuries once everyone woke up, alerted by Kiley's scream, but in the end Jade's shot to the creatures eye was the thing needed to finish the beast off. Jasmin made short work of the injuries by healing them with her Apollo magic and different medicines packed in the CJ. Then they were back on the road again and, after that incident, began to drive through the night until they had reached the Columbia river which was a massive river that acted as the boarder between Oregon and Washington. All in all it had taken them a week cross country from Bunny and Kenny's manor house to here.
"There should be a hotel just up the road," Melina's voice sounded over the radio wave from the CJ in the back of their pack once they had crossed the river into Washougal, "just keep going straight Kiley until you see the Chevron gas station."
Kiley responded over the CB, "Gottcha. Then what?"
Amber was the one who responded from the middle of the group, "I plan on sleeping for 12 straight hours before we do anything so don't even get a 'then what' attitude in that head of yours Jackson."
Kiley laughed though she knew no one had heard it, "Deal. Over and out."
Amber again answered, "Stop. This isn't Smokey and the Bandit, we don't need to talk in that lame CB talk."
Kiley just rolled her eyes and shifted into a lower gear so the compression would slow the car down and pulled to a stop at the stop sign, checking her rear view mirror to see if her company was stopping behind her. They were. Jasmin even waved from the drivers seat of the Nissan but it was weak as none of them had slept in close to 49 hours. Then Kiley was back to business. She accelerated and took a sharp turn left onto another street that passed a Chevron gas station just like Melina had ordered and continued on forward. Looking around Kiley noted the noticeable differences between her home in New York and this place. The streets for one weren't very wide and the houses, all houses not one apartment or condo complex, were all only one or two stories tall and each one had a front and back yard with fences around the lush green grass hugging the homes. Not many people were seen walking but, when she did see one, they all looked up and waved at her as she passed by. The friendliness made her uncomfortable. All the businesses she passed were family run and small, thriving in a small community out of a tiny building. Kiley also noticed a few schools that had children playing on the toys near the school and a few skater punks hanging around like they were waiting for their turn on the merry-go-round. It was foreign to her and she felt homesick for the subways and dense air of New York. This place was to fresh and small and way to nice for her liking. No wonder Melina was so weird, everyone around this place were all like the characters from the Andy Griffith Show. She was a poor New Yorker trapped in Mayberry.
Finally Kiley caught sight of the hotel Melina had spoken off and pulled into its parking lot. It was only about four to five stories tall and shaped like a broad U with small windows. The entrance was in the middle of it and Kiley waited for everyone else to park and join her before entering.
Inside the receptionist sat back in his swivel chair, pushing back the cuticles on his nails with a small flat stick and had his turquoise galoshes kicked up on the desk top. He was dressed in a pair of black kaki pants that had a pair of checkered suspenders clipped onto the waistline and a white button up shirt that the first few buttons near the top were unbuttoned he had his lilac scarf tucked into. He wore a floppy beret that covered most of his slicked back blonde hair. His eyes were hidden behind a pair of purple tortoise shell glasses that matched his suspenders and scarf. When he heard the groups footsteps he slid his glasses down to the edge of his nose to peek a glance at the group then, after seeing Melina, let out a girlish squeal and ran to greet them.
"Ohmagawd, Melina it's been like ages since I've seen you! How's everything at camp?" Kiley glanced at someone, anyone, for answers. Melina cleared her throat and gave her an awkward smile.
"Group, this is Darnell Mark child of Eros. He was my next door neighbor and after being claimed, assumed control of this half-blood hotel. I figured if we were to stay anywhere this would be the best place."
"It fabulous here," Darnell informed them, linking arms with Melina and leading them past his desk into an elevator, "because I picked out all the colors and beds myself!" The elevator stopped on the second floor and he pulled them all out onto it. There were a few doors in the hall, each one with a name painted on the door in bold Greek letters. With far to much happiness for any one man he pushed open one door and shoved Ariel and Kiley through it.
"This is your room. Have a good night!" then as quick as he had opened it, Darnell slammed it shut. Ariel gave Kiley a look like he's-the-most-uptight-man-I've-ever-met and turned with Kiley to inspect the room.
The walls, ceiling, and floor were all made of glass that allowed them to see the water filled innards of the walls. Fish swam around and around, up and down through the water like an aquarium. There was a TV in front of two water beds and a door in the far end of the room that they walked over to check out. Inside that room was a hot tub built into the floor that a butt load of carp were swimming around in like the heat of the bubbling water didn't bug them at all. Ariel glanced Kiley and mouthed the words "Poseidon". Kiley understood. The Half-Blood Hotel had rooms set up for each half-blood that showed up according to their godly parent. Apparently Kiley gave off more of a Poseidon feel because Darnell had placed her here instead of in the Athena room.
When they walked back into the main room their belongings were piled on the two beds along with a platter of food set up on a table that hadn't been there before. A plate for each of them bearing their favorite foods. Ariel wasted no time digging into the plate of spaghetti and meat balls and garlic bread that had been laid out for her. Kiley noticed that the creepy hotel had picked out a plate of her mothers homemade beef stroganoff. She felt leery about it but she grabbed the plate and ate it while she sat on her bed. It tasted alright but it still wasn't as good as her moms, even if it was an imitation of it.
"Well," Ariel said once she was done and stretched her arms above her head, "I'm beat. Wake me up later so I can try out that hot tub." Without another word said she crawled under the sheets of the bed and was out the minute her head touched the pillow.
Kiley laid on her bed for while, watching a carpet shark swim around with a marlin in the ceiling until her weariness took its toll and she passed out.
The dark haired teen was woken abruptly much to her annoyance by someone crudely shaking her shoulders. Luckily enough for her they had gentle hands but it still didn't save that person from getting the silver edge of Kiley's brutal tongue.
"What the hell!" Her eyes flew open to spot Melina kneeling beside her on the bed. Her cinnamon hair had been hastily thrown up in a messy bun which was a sign of trouble. If that wasn't a sure give away the tear streaks staining Melina's normally cream unblemished cheeks was a sure bet. Sluggish in her half awake state of mind and disgruntled from her unpleasant awaking it took Kiley a few moments to fully grasp the situation at hand.
"Melina? What's wrong?"
The daughter of Aphrodite dropped her head to watch herself fiddle with her fingers that were intertwined in her lap, "I…I had a dream about my mother."
"Oh…oh! Ah….talk." Kiley might be brilliant but when half asleep was terribly known for being rather stupid until she has soaked in about three cups of coffee.
"Well," Melina drawled out a long sigh before picking her eyes up to meet with Kiley's, unwavering but blinking back tears, "The good news in Victor is here. But….he's hurting her Kiley. I don't know how someone even hurts a god but he is. In my dream I saw gold…and heard her scream. I think he's….Kiley its stupid really it doesn't even seem logical and it's disgusting to even consider I know-"
"Stop rambling and tell me what you think," Kiley paused before adding, "Please."
Again the girl sighed rather dramatically before nodding more so for her own self assertion than Kiley's, "Well….I think he's doing…something…with my mothers blood. Ichor. You know. Um anyway I saw him hurting her over and over and her ichors was just draining into this…I dunno Kiley! Gods…we have to save her…"
It took moments for Kiley to process what was being laid before her. All that registered was the imports. Victor was here. Victor was within reach. He had the goddess. She could be saved. Victor could be brought to justice. She had her chance. This was it.
"Okay Melina. You remember where he is in your dream?"
"Yes. In my old high schools gym. No one goes there anymore so its closed down. No one except him obviously."
"And you could take us there now?"
"No I could-"
"Go wake everyone up. It's go time."
How long has it been since I updated? Its not good I know but I wanted to give you guys SOMETHING. I'm really sorry guys.