XIV. If this is the second, I dread the first

We spent two days on the Amtrak train, heading west through hills, over rivers, past amber waves of grain.

We weren't attacked once, but I didn't relax.

"Good, with the luck you had so far is it better if you stay alert." Jay said, he really had no clue what the guy could have done to annoy Felix's mother's Greek counterpart, even before he knew that he was a demigod then he could not imagine how one could have so much bad luck in almost one go.

"Saddly, judging by the title will that not be of much help to avoid trouble." Castor said while looking over at his twin who nodded his head in agreement at the statement.

"I would feel better if the word 'death' would not stand in the title." Theseus mumbled to himself as he painfully remembered his beloved step-father plunging himself to death from the tower when he saw the black sails.

I felt that we were traveling around in a display case, being watched from above and maybe from below, that something was waiting for the right opportunity.

I tried to keep a low profile because my name and picture were splattered over the front pages of several East Coast newspapers.

There was a new wave of growls while Athena filled in her nephew about the ground for the reaction when she noticed Pan looking at her questioningly.

The Trenton Register-News showed a photo taken by a tourist as I got off the Greyhound bus. I had a wild look in my eyes. My sword was a metallic blur in my hands. It might've been a baseball bat or a lacrosse stick.

"Sometimes, the mist can be also a real a pain." Misty said while the others nodded in agreement, it could really have made the sword look like something which could not be used as a weapon that would have been more preferred then.

The picture's caption read:

Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson, wanted for questioning in the Long Island disappearance of his mother two weeks ago, is shown here fleeing from the bus where he accosted several elderly female passengers.

"I wonder if that reporter could meet with Alecto and her sisters and still think that they are fable elderly ladies." Lance said while looking over at his two annoyed looking cousins.

"Don't even think about it, if it is not their time to die then they wont be meeting them, there is enough work to do in the Underworld without such trips." Henry told the other with a small glare.

"Only a suggestion." the other defended, but the glare didn't lessen.

The bus exploded on an east New Jersey roadside shortly after Jackson fled the scene. Based on eyewitness accounts, police believe the boy may be traveling with two teenage accomplices.

Cue loud groans, this was just getting better and better.

"Uncle, I really hope that this man really has a good time in your realm." Hephaestus said in a tight tone before continuing.

His stepfather, Gabe Ugliano, has offered a cash reward for information leading to his capture.

"Why that vile, disgusting…" while the goddesses and female demigods were busy listing up insults for Gabe signalled Mich to his grandfather that he should continue before Poseidon causes a tsunami to break out and drown a good number of mortals, no need to cause the great flood in the Bible. Did that already happen anyway or only later?

"Don't worry," Annabeth told me. "Mortal police could never find us." But she didn't sound so sure.

"I will be probably trying to reassure him." Annabeth said, though it looks that she will fail in that department.

The rest of the day I spent alternately pacing the length of the train (because I had a really hard time sitting still) or looking out the windows.

Once, I spotted a family of centaurs galloping across a wheat field, bows at the ready, as they hunted lunch.

The little boy centaur, who was the size of a second-grader on a pony, caught my eye and waved. I looked around the passenger car, but nobody else had noticed. The adult riders all had their faces buried in laptop computers or magazines.

"Times will really be changing in the future." Athena said while shaking her head, on one side it was good on the other really bad.

"That is an understatement grandmother, the growing ignorance of the mortals towards the mythical worlds will be almost overwhelming, mostly after the whole Christianity belief started spreading which started to not only forcefully push away ancient beliefs, but also destroying them" Sally said, then her voice become grave "in our time and the time these two groups have come from are it mostly your demigod children and the few clear sighted mortals who maintain that some of the gods don't fade." she finished while the gods exchanged worried glances with each other, this didn't sound good at all.

"I think, we should continue…" Athena said suddenly with a sigh, something told her that this chapter will be even without these unsettling information's stressful on them.

Another time, toward evening, I saw something huge moving through the woods. I could've sworn it was a lion,

The legacies tensed at this, it was not possible that he had seen the lion he will help defeat in two years to come.

except that lions don't live wild in America, and this thing was the size of a Hummer. Its fur glinted gold in the evening light. Then it leaped through the trees and was gone.

"That was the…" Artemis gasped in shock while Hercules thought back how he defeated the lion back then.

"Third book." Misty said which made everyone exchange nervous glances.

"I can hardly wait." Poseidon mumbled under his breath, his future son will be as it seems really go through every monster in their mythology.

Our reward money for returning Gladiola the poodle had only been enough to purchase tickets as far as Denver. We couldn't get berths in the sleeper car, so we dozed in our seats. My neck got stiff.

"Try that while leaning on a working desk, it is a murder for both the neck and back." Hades muttered under his breath while Persephone rubbed his back, her poor husband really worked too much.

I tried not to drool in my sleep, since Annabeth was sitting right next to me.

"Awww isn't that cute, he is trying to better himself for you." Aphrodite gushed while both of her daughters were beaming at a blushing Annabeth; Mitchell was kind of trying to hold himself back for Malcolm's shake while Athena glared at the love goddess, fine she could not stop her daughter from choosing whom to love, but she didn't want to be reminded of it non stop.

Grover kept snoring and bleating and waking me up.

Some snickered at this.

"Satyrs are part goat, we can't help it." Pan defended while blushing as the snickers got louder.

Once, he shuffled around and his fake foot fell off. Annabeth and I had to stick it back on before any of the other passengers noticed.

"So," Annabeth asked me, once we'd gotten Grover's sneaker readjusted. "Who wants your help?"

"A good deal of people." the legacies said.

"What do you mean?"

"When you were asleep just now, you mumbled, 'I won't help you.' Who were you dreaming about?"

"Something we now all wish to never experience." Katie said shuddering; she would be frightened to death if she would dream about that place so no one noticed the dark looks the legacies exchanged with each other or a certain duo.

I was reluctant to say anything. It was the second time I'd dreamed about the evil voice from the pit.

But it bothered me so much I finally told her.

Annabeth was quiet for a long time. "That doesn't sound like Hades. He always appears on a black throne, and he never laughs."

"Of course is it not me and as an information I do laugh, but seeing with what I have to deal with most of the time would put anyone down from being amused." Hades said while again his siblings shifted in their thrones, of course they had in the past heard their brother laugh, but it was to long ago and the memories had become hazy.

"We can agree that he does laugh, he had been certainly amused by that incident on the Winter Solicit three years ago when granddad's prank unfortunately hit the wrong target and grandfather Zeus found himself suddenly literally in the flashlight, never knew that usually all gods have a camera with them on the solicits." Ace said snickering at the memory; the King of Gods didn't even understand what had happened for almost ten minutes because the moment he tired to figure out what had hit him the camera flashes blinded him.

"Who was the prank intended for?" Hermes asked carefully while Zeus had a frown on his face.

"Uh…by the look of the results I would say Ladies Artemis and Aphrodite." Ace replied in a thoughtful tone as Pan made a new desperate attempt to flee seeing how his aunt, aunt-in-law and grandfather were glaring at his father. He was a too handsome satyr to fade now!

"Erm…he, he…Hep please read!" Hermes pleaded to his brother who took pity on him and decided to read.

"He offered my mother in trade. Who else could do that?"

"Just every god with the aspect of death to their being or if someone is good at deceiving others with their lies, also one could get a necromancer, they can also do the trick." Enysswe said in an annoyed tone while rolling her eyes.

"I didn't know that." said a surprised Theseus, so technically even Thanatos, the Keres and his uncle's three immortal children could give back a dead person's soul.

"Not many try to learn." Hades replied with a shrug.

"I guess ... if he meant, 'Help me rise from the Underworld.' If he wants war with the Olympians. But why ask you to bring him the master bolt if he already has it?"

"A new point that it is not me." Hades said, he was starting to feel tired from the way people saw him, sometimes had he the unwelcome feeling as if others would think that he was his father that thought made his stomach turn in disgust.

I shook my head, wishing I knew the answer. I thought about what Grover had told me, that the Furies on the bus seemed to have been looking for something.

Where is it? Where?

Maybe Grover sensed my emotions. He snorted in his sleep, muttered something about vegetables, and turned his head.

There were some snickers at this, but seeing the next lines Hephaestus made himself ready for the angry reactions to come.

Annabeth readjusted his cap so it covered his horns. "Percy, you can't barter with Hades. You know that, right? He's deceitful, heartless, and greedy.

Annabeth covered slightly behind Beckendorf and Clarisse when the angry growls and hisses come.

"He is neither of those!" Persephone yelled in anger as Hades tightened his grip around her waist, just to be on the safe side.

"As much as I see your point, making these assumptions about someone you don't know is more then infuriating." Enysswe growled out, her eyes switching between tri-colour and black while Henry was gripping at his black jeans, the golden table seemed to shake as he tried to force himself to calm down.

"Is this how people in the future see our brother?" Hestia asked in a saddened tone as she made her way over to her little brother and placed her hand on his arm in a comforting manner while both Hera and Poseidon sent a heated glare at a fidgeting Zeus.

"Uh…kind of yes…" Pollux answered carefully, he hoped that his dad would not let them be blasted to pieces, though on the other hand he also looked kind of angry.

"In this case, all gods fall into that category child, your mother included as you can note by the monsters she had created and some of her deeds." Dionysus said in an annoyed tone. That heartless god had allowed him to trade his mother and beloved wife from the Underworld not something one in that category would do and by the look Orpheus had on his face was he thinking along the same lines while Apollo looked with annoyance at his sister that she should not dare object seeing how in the Trojan war she had aided the murderer of one of his precious children.

Aphrodite looked also angry on her throne as she remembered how willingly her uncle-in-law had given the box filled with sleeping powder to Psyche who had gone into the Underworld on a quest for her as a test if she truly loved Eros or not. Beside that she could feel how much he loved his wife and children she had seen him taking care about his granddaughter he had only meet at that given moment only a hour ago, no one who is deceitful and heartless would behave like that towards others. She should know being a goddess of love and all, the King of the Dead had a heart, a deeply scarred and heavily guarded one, but it was still there.

"Leave it everyone, I'm starting to understand why my own demigod children are feeling frustrated that I don't set my foot down against Olymphos, but getting now annoyed for what will not happen for millennia will not bring us closer to the end of the books." Hades spoke up finally, his gaze firmly set on his wife's hair. "Hephaestus, please continue with reading."

"Yes uncle." Hephaestus replied and started to read hurriedly before anyone could interrupt while Annabeth looked at the ruler of the Underworld, not sure how to feel at the given time.

I don't care if his Kindly Ones weren't as aggressive this time—"

"This time?" I asked. "You mean you've run into them before?"

"And they would not have cared that there were others, they had been sent on specific orders at that time." Henry said in a tight tone as he tired to get his anger under control, not easy if you were both a legacy of Poseidon and Mars beside Hades, that meant a good deal of emotional turmoil if you get agitated.

Annabeth flinched, if they would have known that at that time then they would have not lost so much time arguing and just could have gotten help form the others at camp, then Thalia would have been fine and still here.

"Meaning, they would have spared the others?" Artemis asked, though she saw sense if this is about the death of her half-sister and there had been the oath it is no wonder that her uncle would be furious, the ground for it must truly be grievous or her father would never attempt to not have anymore affairs with mortals, Athena was thinking along the same lines.

Her hand crept up to her necklace. She fingered a glazed white bead painted with the image of a pine tree, one of her clay end-of-summer tokens. "Let's just say I've got no love for the Lord of the Dead. You can't be tempted to make a deal for your mom."

"Strange, you don't exactly mind visiting the Underworld sometimes without uncle Percy." Enysswe said while rolling her eyes, she could not help it; she had always been protective about her grandfather.

"What?" Annabeth asked in shock.

"Near the end of the book and as said these two will be moody till close to the end of this story after that they will be more calmer till the third one and up." Sally told her mother while looking warily at her two cousins, as it was pointed out that they knew why she was like this, but it didn't mean that they would listen wordlessly when someone is badmouthing a family member they love and she also needed to admit that there had really been too many unfair actions against their grandfather in the past.

"What would you do if it was your dad?"

Frederic looked up at this, but seeing the flinch on the smith god's face, he didn't except an all too positive answer.

"That's easy," she said. "I'd leave him to rot."

Yes, that was really not a positive answer.

Meanwhile were the gods and past heroes frowning at the answer while Annabeth looked at the matt they were sitting on.

"You're not serious?"

Athena really hoped that she was not, but by the way her daughter was behaving she feared for the worst, it took her much effort to remind herself repeatedly that they were not only forbidden by the Fates to hurt anyone, but have also sworn an oath on the River Styx, or she would have cursed the mortal on the couch as they were calling that seat.

Noting the way Athena's gray eyes flashed was Frederic meanwhile sure that without the Fates and the oath he would already be something on the same lines as Medusa, Arachne or much worse though it was a worse punishment to know how Annabeth truly felt about him and Athena's anger. Sue was also not sure how to feel, she was firstly scarred that her family would be hurt, but there was also the fact that this had been the ground why she had been the way with Annabeth as she was, she wanted her family safe from harm the girl called to herself with her being, but she knew how much her husband hurt since she was gone.

She really didn't know what to do or feel.

Bobby and Matthew meanwhile were staring wide eyed at their big sister, would she really not help their dad if he would have been kidnapped, but then even thought they were young they remembered all those times she got hurt or had those nightmares about spiders and neither of their parents rushed to her to make her feel better like they did with them. Matthew remembered when he fell by accident while running around in the garden and scrapped his knee, their mum and dad rushed to him, his mommy kissed it better while dad ruffled his hair and told him how brave he was for not crying when he cleaned the wound. While on the next day when Annabeth had gotten home from school with a large gash on her arm had no one cared, he even heard his mom telling her to clean up the blood that had dropped on the tile in the kitchen after she was done with her arm, that seemed hardly fair because the wound looked much worse then his scraped knee.

Annabeth's gray eyes fixed on me. She wore the same expression she'd worn in the woods at camp, the moment she drew her sword against the hellhound.

"Nice comparison." Connor said weekly, that look must have been scary.

"Well, she kind of has a new dangerous look which scares people when they see it." Sally said in a thoughtful tone as she remembered her uncle Leo telling her about that look.

"So true, those who have seen it all agree that it is a powerful death glare." Lance agreed with her while everyone looked at them curiously.

"It even got its own name." Mich added in, his poor granddad, he faced that look almost trice in his life and didn't wish for a new go at it.

"What kind of name?" asked Hermes, hoping that it might bring up the dark mood a bit.

"Easy, it is called the Give-me-Percy-Jackson-or-die look." Luke elaborated at which Annabeth flushed crimson while all around her people broke out laughing, well beside the cooing love goddess and her children.

"That is soo adorable." Aphrodite said beaming, she was again feeling feint, but didn't mind.

The others all took five more minutes to calm down so that Hephaestus could continue with the book, the good mood had been pleasant till it lasted in his option when he saw what was about to come up. The mortal Athena picked as a father was truly lucky for the double protection he was placed under with everyone else.

"My dad's resented me since the day I was born, Percy," she said.

Frederic wanted to say that this was not true, but the god continued before he or anyone else could even utter a single word.

"He never wanted a baby.

This was also not the full case, he only didn't plan on a child so early and the looks the gods were sending towards him and his family were also bothersome seeing that he had fathered twins with his wife.

When he got me, he asked Athena to take me back

Odysseus really had a hard time to resist the urge to walk up to that man and demand from him if he was truly such a fool, a child born by Lady Athena was something truly precious and not a damaged trade object!

and raise me on Olympus

"The laws forbid doing that, anyway it only would go if the child would be fully made into a god, which can not be done every time a demigod is born or it would be a disaster, this is why a demigod needs to accomplish great deeds to receive this gift." Enysswe replied, she had gone through a good deal of old texts to get more insight about this, with her being a mortal goddess and all.

"What type of disaster?" Jay asked curiously while Frederic also did his best to listen, at that time had Athena not explained to him only made it final that she was forbidden to take Annabeth back with her.

"Meaning that the new god would need at least one sphere of power to regain over or become the gender counterpart of an already existing god's domain, but if all the gods would just take their demigod children up here it would mean that every single little thing, even a needle or something similarly small, would be ruled or patroned by a god, this of course with the changing of times would lead to some of these lesser gods fading if their domain is not present anymore. In the time we come from have for example people found cures for a good deal of sicknesses which were deadly in this time or take even the technological changes, there are even new illnesses and problems people have which can harden a gods control over their domain and this list of reasoning's could go on endlessly." she finished with explaining, it would take to long to finish and she noted that some looked already bothered enough by her words and some looked even lost, Frederic was in the former party of those people, now he started to understand better which didn't help his guilt towards his child.

"You are good with noting the laws kid." Pan stated as he tried to make himself a rhyme about her, from the earlier reaction he guessed that she was related to Hades, but she had still something to her aura and that eye colour, really catchy, but somehow also strange.

"Looking at my job is it kind of important for me to know these things." En replied back to the god who tilted his head to the side.

"She is a mortal goddess and lieutenant to the Fates." Hera told her step-grandson who first stared at her unbelievingly when it suddenly clicked.

"Whoah, wait a minute a mortal goddess who works for the Fates?" he asked while looking at the girl incredulously as she smiled back at him in a kind manner.

"Yes, unlike those who have come with me or were brought here by divine power, I have been not born, but was created through soil given by Lord Chaos and water from the River Achteron. I have been formed by three demigods of first, third and fourth generation gods and awakened by hellfire and sunlight, making me a legacy of the gods Hypnos, Hades and Apollo." she finished explaining as Will did his best to not blush again, he really needed to get a grip on himselfs, while those who had not heard the whole thing about her birth were gaping at the girl in shock.

"I would say girl, I pity the idiot who gets on your bad side." Pan whistled while all around him were some of the other divinities trying not to break out laughing or to even look in Zeus's general direction who had till now a nice record just doing that.

because he was too busy with his work.

"Still is sometimes." Sue mumbled to herself, while keeping a hold on her sons who were trying to catch their older sister's eyes, but she was defiantly glaring at the matt while the blonde boy beside her took her hand.

She wasn't happy about that.

Athena nodded her head, of course she wouldn't be happy with that.

She told him heroes had to be raised by their mortal parent."

The heroes of old nodded their heads in agreement, they could not even imagine that a mortal would not feel love for the child given to them by a god, it might be that some of the step-parents don't take it well, but some do.

"Also, the fact that a demigod gets raised by the mortal parent is so that the hero learns the values and morals of life, gods knowledgeable that is true for we have seen much, but for us who are immortal things slip by fast and we see the world with other eyes. Even the human life is most of the time for us only as long as the blink of the eye." Hestia explained kindly while the demigods looked at her in interest, this kind of made sense asto why they get left by their other parent and not the divine one, Frederic also understood now as well as the moral he had without knowing teached to Annabeth.

"Thank you for explaining this to us Lady Hestia." Reyna said, she had always wondered why Bellona had left them with their father if she had loved him enough to have two children with him, now she kind of saw it that her mother in a way meant well, she wanted them to experience the part of life she could not really teach her and Hylla, what it means to be human.

The other demigods also nodded their agreement, they also noticed that while reading these books they also kind of learn more things not only about the past and the gods themselves, but also about some of their reasoning's for some of the laws. In some way, this made it a bit easier to accept their own existence together with the knowledge that their parents actually cared about them, but could not always show it.

"But how ... I mean, I guess you weren't born in a hospital..."

"If that is something like a healing room then in a way she was, in the side building of my temple where I have the room where I deal with injured, sick or pregnant immortals, though by the later I have always Artemis helping me." Apollo said while those with a goddess as a mother looked up at the twin archers in surprise, they did not know that they were the ones helping the most of them to be born or that they were born in Olymphos's version of a hospital.

"I appeared on my father's doorstep, in a golden cradle, carried down from Olympus by Zephyr the West Wind.

Frederic remembered that, he had been so stunned and then tried to figure out how a cradle made out of gold could float so freely like a leaf in the wind and still act like a boat rocking on a calm river. His sons on the other hand found the idea about a floating cradle awesome.

"Zephyr is a good friend and always volunteers to take my children to their mortal father and stay by them if they should not be home at the time of the arrival to keep them safe from harm." Athena said while Malcolm remembered his dad telling him how he returned home from a math symposium and saw a golden cradle in front of his apartment door with something like a mini whirlwind around it like a type of shield. He had first thought that he had drunk to much coffee to stay awake and almost swore if off, but got over his shock in the end when he remembered the times he spent in Athena's company.

You'd think my dad would remember that as a miracle, right? Like, maybe he'd take some digital photos or some thing.

Cue new flinch from said father, now he kind of wished that he would have taken one, he had only like two or three pictures about Annabeth.

"Digital photos?" Bellerophon asked in confusion.

"Something like instant paintings after you press a little button." Chris explained to the other who nodded his head.

But he always talked about my arrival as if it were the most inconvenient thing that had ever happened to him.

The demigods clustered again closer to Annabeth while the gods and past heroes looked annoyed at the mortals in their midst while Lupa and Chiron exchanged sorrowful glances, sadly was this not the first time a goddess's lover reacting like that.

When I was five he got married and totally forgot about Athena.

'I never could.' Frederic though sighing while by the thrones Aphrodite raised her head in curiosity, she surely had felt wrong or...

He got a 'regular' mortal wife, and had two 'regular' mortal kids, and tried to pretend I didn't exist."

Sue wanted to look offended, but by the looks they were getting would that not be healthy for her family while her sons looked sadly at the ground, they did not know that Annabeth felt like that.

I stared out the train window. The lights of a sleeping town were drifting by. I wanted to make Annabeth feel better, but I didn't know how.

"He is such a gentleman." Aphrodite said, her earlier thoughts forgotten for a while, the other goddesses needed to nod their heads.

"Even if you would not end up together, Percy seems like a really caring friend." Katie told Annabeth who nodded her head, it really touched her that he wanted to make her feel better no matter how many times they argued or how she behaved around him.

"My mom married a really awful guy," I told her."Grover said she did it to protect me, to hide me in the scent of a human family. Maybe that's what your dad was thinking."

Sue felt her jaw drop while Annabeth allowed herself a smile as the others snickered, she knew that this was not the ground, but imagining it that was really funny to her.

Annabeth kept worrying at her necklace. She was pinching the gold college ring that hung with the beads. It occurred to me that the ring must be her father's. I wondered why she wore it if she hated him so much.

Annabeth looked also thoughtful about that while Frederic kind of guessed the ground, it was because of her mother and not because of him, suddenly he found himself looking into the smith god's eyes who looked at him with a hint of distaste which made him flinch.

"I'm really starting to understand why the Fates had set the rules about not harming." he said while looking over at Enysswe who nodded her head in confirmation, the others on the other hand had frowns on their faces while Annabeth guessed that she went into some details which surprised her seeing that she never did this, only with Thalia and Luke, but mostly Thalia who understood.

"He doesn't care about me," she said. "His wife—my stepmom—treated me like a freak.

Sue flinched by the look those gray eyes were giving her, it felt like being cut by cold steel.

She wouldn't let me play with her children.

Bobby and Matthew exchanged confused glances at this, they sister had wanted to play with them? Their parents told them that she was always busy or was doing dangerous stuff only older children are allowed to play.

My dad went along with her.

Now it was Fredrick's turn to feel as if cut, but he also noticed the dark look Odysseus was giving him and how it were Jason and Orpheus keeping him sitting.

"Granddad is really in for the past." Luke whispered to Sally, who really would have liked to defend her grandfather, but that would lead of them needing to give a spoiler and beside that, he and step-grandmother Sue needed to be faced with the consequences of their actions in an environment where it was currently not allowed to hurt anyone present before glancing over at En.

"Your relatives outside must be raging." she whispered to her.

"That is an understatement, on the side of my great-grandmother is family one of the most important things, but I hope that they get calmed down soon." she whispered back, and this was the truth seeing how outside were a good deal of gods trying to keep the children of the night goddess from marching into the palace, which was easier said then done and not one of them would have some bruises, scratch marks or in some unfortunate cases even bite marks, luckily only form Eris and not her sisters the Keres or Lyssa. Neither poison nor rabies were fun to have, even if you are a god.

Whenever something dangerous happened—you know, something with monsters—they would both look at me resentfully, like, 'How dare you put our family at risk.'

Athena looked ready to hurt someone, preferably the mortals who had acted like this with her child, the war goddess side of her was pushing the wisdom aside, but Ares's had a firm grip on her.

"Ares, let me go." she hissed.

"As fun sight that would be, we have a rule by the three ladies you don't wish to cross and an oath going on." he told her while gesturing to his brother to continue.

"And at the moment he hasn't even got his aspect as Mars." Jay said to his fellow Romans who nodded their heads, they were also kind of seeing again a proof regards the balance of the two war gods.

Finally, I took the hint. I wasn't wanted. I ran away."

"How old were you?"

"Same age as when I started camp. Seven."

Frederic remembered how shocked he was when he got home and didn't find any trace from Annabeth, mostly that they last words for each other were those spoken in an argument.

"But ... you couldn't have gotten all the way to Half-Blood Hill by yourself."

"Not alone, no. Athena watched over me, guided me toward help.

Athena smiled at this faintly, even if she could have not directly helped her poor child she had still found a way to get past with the loopholes in the law.

I made a couple of unexpected friends who took care of me, for a short time, anyway."

Annabeth gave a sad smile at this, she had been so happy to have finally a family which cares, but then she had lost her sister and now found out that they could have saved her.

I wanted to ask what happened, but Annabeth seemed lost in sad memories. So I listened to the sound of Grover snoring and gazed out the train windows as the dark fields of Ohio raced by.

Toward the end of our second day on the train, June 13, eight days before the summer solstice, we passed through some golden hills and over the Mississippi River into St. Louis.

"Which is Misty's favourite place." Lance said in an attempt to brighten the mood, no matter on how dangerous territory he was threading.

"Shut up." his cousin snapped at him, face slightly flushed.

"Why is that?" Dakota asked curiously as he watched the girl try to cover the other's mouth, but it was Mich who spoke up instead of Lance like she had expected.

"Because our dear mademoiselle here is a big fan of the Anita Blake series." he said grinning which confused those from the antique.

"You mean the books about the necromancer who gains the interest of a good number of creatures like vampires, lycanthropes and such?" Trickster asked the blushing girl.

"Yup, she mo…" but Mich found his mouth missing while Misty gave him an evil smile.

"This certainly reminds me on Hecate." Hermes whispered to Apollo.

"You will get it back after this chapter and no one should complain about the books I like, beside that, the Anita Blake series had at least more supernatural characters in it who have a better way to actually survive then those nightmares teenage girls droll over. I mean, sure if you read the main title 'Twilight' you get interested, the under titles are also good, but the books…" at this she shuddered, she preferred Asher any day over Edward! "Vampires who sparkle in the sunlight, seriously? Also werewolves can only be male, it is inheritable and no girl gets it except one because she is the twin of one of them?" this time it was Sally covering her mouth, she knew that her friend and cousin could go on about this for hours.

"Excuse me, but vampires and daylight don't go well together." Apollo said, he once attempted to date one, he was really cute and gods can't be affected by them so he didn't see any harm in it, but with him jumping in for Helios so often… well he got a really sunny aura and…let's just say that the date ended with him using a broom to gather up his would be bed partner's ashes from the ground.

"Also the werewolves would be having hysteric laughing attacks at that gibberish about only inheritable in the male chromosomes." Lupa spoke up while shaking her head, mortals and their attempts to write about the specieses they had forgotten about, she and Chiron had heard about enough terrible works and only few good ones like the one called 'Frankenstein, the modern Prometheus' which was made by a daughter of Hebe.

Annabeth craned her neck to see the Gateway Arch, which looked to me like a huge shopping bag handle stuck on the city.

The demigods started snickering at this while Annabeth shook her head and muttered 'Seaweed Brain', but at least were her thoughts drifting away from that what was read earlier.

"I want to do that," she sighed.

"What?" I asked.

"Build something like that. You ever see the Parthenon, Percy?"

The legacies tried not to look grave as Athena beamed at the thought that her favourite building was still there, the Romans only looked uncomfortable again.

"Only in pictures."

"Someday, I'm going to see it in person.

Again the legacies did their best to not show their emotions, the Second Giant War in their ancient land had been terrible and not a time to fulfil one of your wishes and have it as a brilliantly happy memory.

I'm going to build the greatest monument to the gods, ever. Something that'll last a thousand years."

"Seeing how you will design New Greece you will get your wish." Katie told her smiling friend.

"And I think she might faint at the end of the fifth book." Ace whispered to Luke who looked in amusement at the younger version of his mother.

"That or scream in happiness." he answered back.

I laughed. "You? An architect?"

Hephaestus read on before anyone could react.

I don't know why, but I found it funny. Just the idea of Annabeth trying to sit quietly and draw all day.

"I can kind of see his point regards the ADHD all demigods have." Chris said and Annabeth needed to agree that on first hearing it sounded strange.

Her cheeks flushed.

"Yes, an architect. Athena expects her children to create things, not just tear them down, like a certain god of earthquakes I could mention."

Annabeth flinched at this before looking over at the sea god.

"I'm sorry." she said, but he waved it of.

"I got used to people sometimes looking more at the destructive side of my powers and not the positive ones." he told her in a calm tone while Athena looked at him strangely.

I watched the churning brown water of the Mississippi below.

"Sorry," Annabeth said. "That was mean."

"That is an understatement." Mitchell said from beside Malcolm.

"Can't we work together a little?" I pleaded. "I mean, didn't Athena and Poseidon ever cooperate?"

The two gods eyed each other unsurely while the other gods took over the word.

"Beside the Titanomachia where they were forced to, only once." they said in union.

"The both of you looked after it as if you would be sick any second." Triton said while looking at both his father and Athena who were avoiding everyone's gazes.

Annabeth had to think about it. "I guess ... the chariot," she said tentatively. "My mom invented it, but Poseidon created horses out of the crests of waves. So they had to work together to make it complete."

The gods nodded in agreement, Athena and Poseidon were still ignoring everyone.

"Then we can cooperate, too. Right?"

We rode into the city, Annabeth watching as the Arch disappeared behind a hotel.

"I suppose," she said at last.

"I think we have enough proof that this will not be a one-quest thing." Frank whispered to the others.

We pulled into the Amtrak station downtown. The intercom told us we'd have a three-hour layover before departing for Denver.

Grover stretched. Before he was even fully awake, he said, "Food."

Everyone snickered at this while Pan turned a bit to his side.

"D, seeing how I'm a bit stuck here, could I please get some grapes on a wooden plate with leaves below the grapes?" he asked the god who snapped his fingers to let the food appear. "Thanks."

"Come on, goat boy," Annabeth said. "Sightseeing."

"Huh?"

"Why do I have the feeling that this will be when Percy gets into trouble again." Orpheus said in a thoughtful tone when he suddenly felt someone grabbing his wrist, looking to his side he found himself face to face with Theseus who was leaning across the laps of both of his brother's to get to the blonde.

"Orpheus, don't make me drag you into a room, lock the door behind us and not open it till I emptied your quiver." he told the now pale musician.

"Sightseeing?"

"The Gateway Arch," she said.

"So…he will be jumping from the Arch…" Lee said nervously, he remembered visiting there once when they had visited his mortal grandmother there, it was pretty high up.

"I really don't want to know with what he will top that." Octavian said, he didn't know all to many options to accomplish that.

"This may be my only chance to ride to the top. Are you coming or not?"

"She was pretty right with that." Luke whispered to Sally, their parents never got even near the renovated Arch after this.

Grover and I exchanged looks.

I wanted to say no, but I figured that if Annabeth was going, we couldn't very well let her go alone.

"Great, this misadventure will be m fault." Annabeth groaned, this quest will only get better and better.

Grover shrugged. "As long as there's a snack bar without monsters."

"Technically, the snack bar was monster free." Ace said while Mich was still pouting and glaring at Misty.

The Arch was about a mile from the train station. Late in the day the lines to get in weren't that long. We threaded our way through the underground museum, looking at covered wagons and other junk from the 1800s. It wasn't all that thrilling, but Annabeth kept telling us interesting facts about how the Arch was built, and Grover kept passing me jelly beans, so I was okay.

Annabeth sighed, at least he will find the facts she was telling them interesting.

I kept looking around, though, at the other people in line. "You smell anything?" I murmured to Grover.

He took his nose out of the jelly-bean bag long enough to sniff. "Underground," he said distastefully. "Under ground air always smells like monsters. Probably doesn't mean anything."

But something felt wrong to me. I had a feeling we shouldn't be here.

Cue groans from everyone and Annabeth looking down, she was the one who dragged them there.

"Guys," I said. "You know the gods' symbols of power?"

Annabeth had been in the middle of reading about the construction equipment used to build the Arch, but she looked over. "Yeah?"

"Well, Hade—"

Grover cleared his throat. "We're in a public place... You mean, our friend downstairs?"

"You could have used something better, even the fact that I'm related to two of you." Hades said while shaking his head. "Beside that, if by bellow you meant the Underworld, I'm not the only male god living down there."

"Um, right," I said. "Our friend way downstairs. Doesn't he have a hat like Annabeth's?"

Those from the Underworld raised their eyebrows; a hat and helm were not the same.

"You mean the Helm of Darkness," Annabeth said. "Yeah, that's his symbol of power.

"Well, one of the two in our time." Henry whispered to Enysswe before glancing at the Queen of the Underworld.

I saw it next to his seat during the winter solstice council meeting."

"He was there?" I asked.

Hades looked annoyed while his siblings shifted in their seats.

She nodded. "It's the only time he's allowed to visit Olympus

Cue fidgetting and some guilty glances.

the darkest day of the year. But his helm is a lot more powerful than my invisibility hat, if what I've heard is true..."

"It allows him to become darkness," Grover confirmed. "He can melt into shadow or pass through walls. He can't be touched, or seen, or heard. And he can radiate fear so intense it can drive you insane or stop your heart. Why do you think all rational creatures fear the dark?"

"That is all correct." Hades said in amusement by the mix of awed and slightly scarred looks he was getting from the demigods while outside his children looked proud at the mention of their father's symbol of power.

"But then ... how do we know he's not here right now, watching us?" I asked.

"Because looking at the carnage my two younger brothers have caused with their argument am I probably stuck either doing paperwork or try getting a traffic jam solved." Hades said, even the thought about it made him feel a migraine coming his way.

Annabeth and Grover exchanged looks.

"We don't," Grover said.

"We do." the Stolls said in union.

"Idiots." Katie mumbled to herself.

"Thanks, that makes me feel a lot better," I said. "Got any blue jelly beans left?"

There were a few snickers at the random topic change.

I'd almost mastered my jumpy nerves when I saw the tiny little elevator car we were going to ride to the top of the Arch, and I knew I was in trouble. I hate confined places. They make me nuts.

"With the ADHD it is no wonder, but I fear that the fact that he is my son will this be worse. The sea doesn't like to be restrained." Poseidon said while his other sons also nodded their heads in agreement.

We got shoehorned into the car with this big fat lady and her dog, a Chihuahua with a rhinestone collar.

"Grandfather will be in for it again." Nathan mumbled to himself.

I figured maybe the dog was a seeing-eye Chihuahua, because none of the guards said a word about it.

The demigods shifted at this uneasily, no sane person would use such a small dog for a blind person.

We started going up, inside the Arch. I'd never been in an elevator that went in a curve, and my stomach wasn't too happy about it.

"No parents?" the fat lady asked us.

She had beady eyes; pointy, coffee-stained teeth; a floppy denim hat, and a denim dress that bulged so much, she looked like a blue-jean blimp.

"They're below," Annabeth told her. "Scared of heights."

"At least one of the three can lie." Hermes said in mock sorrow.

"Oh, the poor darlings."

The Chihuahua growled. The woman said, "Now, now, sonny. Behave." The dog had beady eyes like its owner, intelligent and vicious.

No one liked the feeling of foreboding.

I said, "Sonny. Is that his name?"

"No," the lady told me.

She smiled, as if that cleared everything up.

At the top of the Arch, the observation deck reminded me of a tin can with carpeting. Rows of tiny windows looked out over the city on one side and the river on the other. The view was okay, but if there's anything I like less than a confined space, it's a confined space six hundred feet in the air. I was ready to go pretty quick.

"Si…you mean to tell me that in the seventh book he will make a jump from something which is higher then six hundred feet?" Poseidon asked in a strange tone while everyone was gaping at the legacies.

"He sure will."

Annabeth kept talking about structural supports, and how she would've made the windows bigger, and designed a see-through floor.

"I think that this would have been the moment aunt Thalia would have run." Nathan whispered to his co-praetor, his aunt was still not over her aerophobia and her slight attempts with both his dad and Phobos also didn't help much. Well besides leaving both men with a black eye that is.

She probably could've stayed up there for hours, but luckily for me the park ranger announced that the observation deck would be closing in a few minutes.

I steered Grover and Annabeth toward the exit, loaded them into the elevator, and I was about to get in myself when I realized there were already two other tourists inside. No room for me.

Everyone bit back a groan of frustration.

"I really don1t know what mom has against him." Felix said in frustration not that he knew that outside his mother was asking the same question from herself again.

The park ranger said, "Next car, sir."

"We'll get out," Annabeth said. "We'll wait with you."

But that was going to mess everybody up and take even more time, so I said, "Naw, it's okay. I'll see you guys at the bottom."

"Well, he kind of was right…" Connor said carefully.

Grover and Annabeth both looked nervous, but they let the elevator door slide shut. Their car disappeared down the ramp.

Now the only people left on the observation deck were me, a little boy with his parents, the park ranger, and the fat lady with her Chihuahua.

I smiled uneasily at the fat lady. She smiled back, her forked tongue flickering between her teeth.

"Forked tongue?" Most said.

Wait a minute.

Forked tongue?

Before I could decide if I'd really seen that, her Chihuahua jumped down and started yapping at me.

Poseidon and his children tensed again.

"Now, now, sonny," the lady said. "Does this look like a good time? We have all these nice people here."

"Doggie!" said the little boy. "Look, a doggie!"

His parents pulled him back.

"They had good instinct." Sally said.

The Chihuahua bared his teeth at me, foam dripping from his black lips.

"Well, son," the fat lady sighed. "If you insist."

Ice started forming in my stomach. "Urn, did you just call that Chihuahua your son?"

"Why do I think that she is not just a lady who is nuts like all those who call their dogs their children." Travis said nervously, he and Connor had such a neighbour a batty lady with five of those small rat like beasts, she even had bottles for them. It was freaky.

Hephaestus suddenly choked on his breath as he tried not to bust out in flames, he was not sure if the book was fire proff, reading a bit ahead he was sure that his father would be again in for a good deal of yelling and threatening. This was really going overboard to send her from all things after a hero who is trying to get his Master Bolt back. Maybe he should add something to that golden net His mother will use on his father with his uncle so that Zeus is really forced to become a better ruler.

"Chimera, dear," the fat lady corrected. "Not a Chihuahua. It's an easy mistake to make."

"Oh, now that clears it all up that is nice, MY TWELVE YEARS OLD BROTHER IS NOW FACING A CHIMERA!"

"I think, Theseus might have broken." Chris whispered to Jake as both looked at the hero while both Bellerophon and Orion grabbed a yelping Orpheus and pushed him over to the panicking man that he should do something, he was the one with the most knowledge about how to fix people not them.

"Well, at least we know that he would be the overprotective parent type." Jason whispered to Odysseus before they looked over to Poseidon who looked pale again.

She rolled up her denim sleeves, revealing that the skin of her arms was scaly and green. When she smiled, I saw that her teeth were fangs. The pupils of her eyes were side ways slits, like a reptile's.

Everyone felt their eyes widen and some even prayed that this was an emposai or better a dracaena.

The Chihuahua barked louder, and with each bark, it grew. First to the size of a Doberman, then to a lion. The bark became a roar.

The little boy screamed. His parents pulled him back toward the exit, straight into the park ranger, who stood, paralyzed, gaping at the monster.

"With a monster so close even the mist has difficulty." Athena said, at least was Annabeth not up there anymore, said girl on the other hand was trying to keep her breathing under control.

The Chimera was now so tall its back rubbed against the roof. It had the head of a lion with a blood-caked mane, the body and hooves of a giant goat, and a serpent for a tail, a ten-foot-long diamondback growing right out of its shaggy behind. The rhinestone dog collar still hung around its neck, and the plate-sized dog tag was now easy to read: CHIMERA—RABID, FIRE-BREATHING, POISONOUS

"All those sound so pleasant." Triton said in a tight tone, he was really staring to hate the fact that he seemed to have developed some kind of attachment to one of his half-brothers who was a magnet for trouble.

IF FOUND, PLEASE CALL TARTARUS—EXT. 954.

"Huh, it has an extention's number?" asked a confused looking Ace as everyone turned to the two legacies from the Underworld.

"Of course, one would be shocked about how good the perception for both phone and internet are in the Underworld." Henry said, there was a ground why he only used torrent sites when he was down there he could download almost everything in less then two hours or even faster depending on how many files he is downloading and how bit they are.

"I'm jealous." Lance whined together with his dad and uncle, those from the antique, well beside those not panicking, looked confused.

I realized I hadn't even uncapped my sword.

"Not the time for that." Clarisse snapped, she would never admit that she was worried about the guy, but she was even a kid of the war god would want a break after facing already three major monsters, one even twice with additions.

My hands were numb. I was ten feet away from the Chimera's bloody maw, and I knew that as soon as I moved, the creature would lunge.

Theseus whimpered at this while Orpheus tried to calm him down, not that it worked and the others were also to busy to be worried to give him tips.

The snake lady made a hissing noise that might've been laughter. "Be honored, Percy Jackson. Lord Zeus rarely allows me to test a hero with one of my brood. For I am the Mother of Monsters, the terrible Echidna!"

There was a deadly silence while Hephaestus covered his ears, just in time when the storm broke out.

"YOU SENT ECHIDNA AT HIM!" screamed almost everyone in horror, it was one thing sending out monsters after a hero, but Echidna?

"WHAT WERE YOU TINKING ZEUS!" Poseidon yelled as he tried to get free from the grip both Amphitrite and Triton had on him while Zeus tired not to show that he was actually frightened.

"I should have trained him more intensely." Chiron mumbled to himself guiltily when he noticed Lupa's paw on his arm.

"You could have not known that Lord Jupiter sends out her of all creatures, you were only thinking along the lines of normal monsters." she told him in a tone which indicated that she will maim him if he doesn't stop acting pathetic.

"Dad could not have been serious." Jay said in complet shock when he suddenly noticed Perseus kneeling beside him.

"Our father, tends to overreact on cases, but at least we know that Percy will be fine." he tried reassuring his younger brother who still looked disappointedly at their father and he shared his sentiments on this one.

"Hephaestus, read." Zeus pleaded to his son in an attempt to get out of the situation, but the look Hera was giving him made it clear that by the next break the two of them will have a serious talk with each other no matter if he likes it or not.

I stared at her. All I could think to say was: "Isn't that a kind of anteater?"

The demigods groaned and face-palmed before Octavian turned to those from the antique.

"In Australia, a continent till now not discovered there lives a small animal which was named after her." he explained as now also the others groaned, mostly after Misty projected a picture abut a small furred animal with a long nose and thorned back out to them.

"She will not like that." Odysseus noted carefully, that boy could really not stop himself from commenting on the worst of times.

"Why does it need to be him." Theseus whined, he was now really sure that he will have white hair after they finish these books.

She howled, her reptilian face turning brown and green with rage.

"Yup, she doesn't like it at all." Frank stated in a nervous tone.

"I hate it when people say that! I hate Australia! Naming that ridiculous animal after me.

Glancing over at the still present picture everyone turned back to the book, they were kind of getting her sentiments on that matter.

For that, Percy Jackson, my son shall destroy you!"

Poseidon made a desperate grab for his trident, but Amphitrite was faster and held it out of his reach.

The Chimera charged, its lion teeth gnashing. I managed to leap aside and dodge the bite.

I ended up next to the family and the park ranger, who were all screaming now, trying to pry open the emergency exit doors.

I couldn't let them get hurt.

"He is a good hero." Hestia said softly while the others needed to nod at her words.

I uncapped my sword, ran to the other side of the deck, and yelled, "Hey, Chihuahua!" The Chimera turned faster than I would've thought possible.

"He's getting real good at pissing off the wrong people," Chris noted, not sure if he should be worried and avoid standing to close to Percy if on a quest or to be awed by his boldness.

"You have no idea, how good he is." Ace told his father, if it weren't really for the Fates, Lady Artemis, Lord Poseidon and even sometimes Lady Hestia was he sure that his uncle would be dead by now.

"Though sometimes he really needs better nicknames." Lance noted from beside his cousin.

"I personally love the Queen Dritface comment." both Henry and Enysswe said, their voices dripping with venom as they said the name.

"Who is that?" Persephone asked her grandchildren, she had an unsettling feeling by the way they had said the name or how their eyes had darkened as did those by the other legacies.

"You will see after the fifth book." Sally said while forcing her tone to stay even, her poor parents had gone through so much horrible in Tartaros, but they had been together, her uncle Nico had been all alone when he wandered through it from the beginning till the end, fought for his life alone, was tortured horribly and almost died, she didn't even dare thinking what that monster did to her sweet and kind aunt Hazel.

When it become clear that no one will comment further Hephaestus returned to reading, the chapter would be soon over anyway.

Before I could swing my sword, it opened its mouth, emitting a stench like the world's largest barbecue pit, and shot a column of flame straight at me.

I dove through the explosion. The carpet burst into flames; the heat was so intense, it nearly seared off my eye brows.

There were some sharp intakes of breath.

Where I had been standing a moment before was a ragged hole in the side of the Arch, with melted metal steaming around the edges.

Great, I thought. We just blowtorched a national monument.

"The first of many." Nathan whispered to Luke.

"As good is it that he also thinks about that, this is not the time." Beckendorf said, the Arch can be fixed, yes it will have a new part on it, but the body is harder to get right again.

Riptide was now a shining bronze blade in my hands, and as the Chimera turned, I slashed at its neck.

That was my fatal mistake.

"Percy, the 'f' –word is not helping my case here." Orpheus called who was sure that if Theseus continues clinging to him like that, that then he will surely have at least two or three broken ribs in the best case.

The blade sparked harmlessly off the dog collar.

Cue groans and curses.

I tried to regain my balance, but I was so worried about defending myself against the fiery lion's mouth, I completely forgot about the serpent tail until it whipped around and sank its fangs into my calf.

"NO!" everyone screamed and some of the girls had even started crying, no matter if they knew that he would be fine in the end, the things they read had drawn them in.

"That is a potent poison, but it is weak against large amount of water." Will mumbled to himself, he remembered researching Chimera poison, he even managed to get a small sample of it by accident on a field trip with his school, he was never in his life more glad for the existence of stalactite caves then on that day.

My whole leg was on fire. I tried to jab Riptide into the Chimera's mouth, but the serpent tail wrapped around my ankles and pulled me off balance, and my blade flew out of my hand, spinning out of the hole in the Arch and down toward the Mississippi River.

I managed to get to my feet, but I knew I had lost. I was weaponless. I could feel deadly poison racing up to my chest. I remembered Chiron saying that Anaklusmos would always return to me, but there was no pen in my pocket. Maybe it had fallen too far away. Maybe it only returned when it was in pen form. I didn't know, and I wasn't going to live long enough to figure it out.

"It depends on the distance how fast it returns." Sally explained, she really hated hearing about her dad being hurt, mostly if it is her dad who is narrating the fact.

I backed into the hole in the wall. The Chimera advanced, growling, smoke curling from its lips. The snake lady, Echidna, cackled. "They don't make heroes like they used to, eh, son?"

There were several growls at this comment, but everyone was to worried to interrupt by commenting.

The monster growled. It seemed in no hurry to finish me off now that I was beaten.

I glanced at the park ranger and the family. The little boy was hiding behind his father's legs. I had to protect these people. I couldn't just ... die.

Artemis shook her head, this boy no, man was turly a hero she had not seen before and if he could mantain this compasionate heart through all the hardships he is facing then she could slowly see why she would accept him even more. Maybe she could ask her grandniece by the next break if it would be possible for her to bring in some of her Hunters.

I tried to think, but my whole body was on fire. My head felt dizzy. I had no sword. I was facing a massive, fire-breathing monster and its mother. And I was scared.

"Who wouldn't." Clarisse muttered under her breath so that no one could hear her.

There was no place else to go, so I stepped to the edge of the hole. Far, far below, the river glittered.

Will nodded his head, if Percy jumps he will be fine, the poison will be neutralized, if it would have been a manticore then it would be trickier to get it out, and the fact that he didn't move around so much meant that the poison also spread much slower through him.

If I died, would the monsters go away? Would they leave the humans alone?

The girls were now crying even harder, mostly Annabeth who could not imagine how she could hold out down there at the bottom of the Arch, she wanted to go there, she was the ground that Percy had gotten hurt like that.

"If you are the son of Poseidon," Echidna hissed, "you would not fear water. Jump, Percy Jackson. Show me that water will not harm you. Jump and retrieve your sword. Prove your bloodline."

"Is she taunting him?" Dakota asked, but Will spoke up suddenly.

"She is more like helping him without knowing." he told the now confused group, crap he shouldn't have spoke up, but luckily had En stepped in to help her mother.

"Chimera poison is weak against large amounts of water." she said.

"I remember now really good that you two know this, it truly has a weakness against it seeing how the poison is generated partly for the flames inside the Chimera's body and water extinguishes fire." Hades said thoughtfully at which Poseidon perked up.

"Percy, I don't care how high that is jump." he told the book while Lee patted his younger brother on the back.

"You are certainly a good healer." he told Will while Apollo beamed at his son.

Yeah, right, I thought. I'd read somewhere that jumping into water from a couple of stories up was like jumping onto solid asphalt. From here, I'd splatter on impact.

"This is what she meant by proving his bloodline, as a son of Lord Poseidon he would not be harmed by the water." Michael spoke up suddenly as he realized this.

The Chimera's mouth glowed red, heating up for an other blast.

"You have no faith," Echidna told me. "You do not trust the gods. I cannot blame you, little coward. Better you die now. The gods are faithless. The poison is in your heart."

Many glared either at the book or at Zeus who really wondered if he should have just stayed in bed.

She was right: I was dying. I could feel my breath slowing down. Nobody could save me, not even the gods.

"No son, there is a way just jump please." Poseidon pleaded, the sooner Percy gets into the water the better.

I backed up and looked down at the water. I remembered the warm glow of my father's smile when I was a baby. He must have seen me. He must have visited me when I was in my cradle.

"He did." the Jackson siblings said in union.

I remembered the swirling green trident that had appeared above my head the night of capture the flag, when Poseidon had claimed me as his son.

But this wasn't the sea. This was the Mississippi, dead center of the USA. There was no Sea God here.

"Even then, I have a connection to all bodies of water." the god said.

"Die, faithless one," Echidna rasped, and the Chimera sent a column of flame toward my face.

"Father, help me," I prayed.

"I will son, I promise." said father answered in a gentle tone.

I turned and jumped. My clothes on fire, poison coursing through my veins, I plummeted toward the river.

"This was the last sentence." Hephaestus said.

"Give me the book, I want to know if Percy will be really fine." Poseidon spoke up and Hephaestus brought the book over to his uncle who opened it on the next page.

I Become a Know Fugitive

The Stolls thought that it would be inaporitive to whine about the fact that Percy is fulfilling one of their life dreams while Misty magiced Mich's mouth back, though he failed to notice.

To be continued…