A teenage boy stares uncertainly down at me.
My vision swims. Memories – visions, nightmares...? I don't know. But I can't think.
Dark blood spews against the grass. I look down. The blood is mine. A nasty slash from one of the monsters has opened on my side, and it's pouring red. I stare at the wound for a moment, shocked into silence – and then I feel it.
I collapse, on my hands and knees in the blood. Red stains my T-shirt. I try to breathe and I can't.
"Run!" I shout at them. Luke. Annabeth. They can't die. They have to let me die. "Run, now!"
A teenage boy stares down at me.
Chills shiver through me. "Who –"
"I'm Percy," he says. "You're safe now."
No. He's wrong. I'm not safe.
I blink. The flashbacks start again.
I scream. I cough, spitting out blood. I try again to stand, but I can barely breathe. "Luke, go! Don't stop! Go!"
I take a sharp breath. "Strangest dream..."
Another flood of memories rushes in.
Electric heat shoots down my spine. Something's happening. I'm dying, I must be. I look at my wound to see if the bleeding's worse, but it's not there. I reach down, finger the slash with my hand. It's hard. Like... like... No, I must be dreaming.
I reach out my fingers, calling for Luke. But they're not my fingers. They're branches.
And then I can't scream anymore.
"It's okay," the teenage boy says.
"No," he insists. "You're okay. What's your name?"
I swallow hard. "Thalia. Daughter of Zeus."
I don't understand. I'm a half-blood, I made it to camp, why is everyone so afraid? Then it hits me. "Are they okay?" I stammer. "Please, just tell me they're okay!"
The boy looks confused. "Who?"
"Luke. Annabeth." I cough again, harder. "Is Luke alright? Please, he has to be alright..."
No one answers me.
The boy's expression darkens. "Not... not exactly."