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Another Goddess Born {Chapters 1-4}

Chapter 1


“Mfgh! Get…off…me!” Alexandra shoved hands upward and deposited the body onto the ground.

“Ow!” Aquene grunted. “Why do you always have to do that?” Alexandra pushed herself to a sitting position and breathed heavily, basking in the early summer sun.

“Because you keep getting on me!” she retorted.

She stood up and brushed the dirt off her clothes and dragged her long blonde hair back over her shoulders. Her tall, slim figure was enhanced by her black long sleeved shirt and skinny jeans. Alexandra smiled good-naturedly and stuck her hand out to help her friend to her feet.

Aquene stood slightly shorted then Alexandra. Her Indian ancestry shone clearly through her appearance – and her name. Her black hair was braided into pigtails, and her skin was copper-toned and fair, unmarred by the affects of puberty. Her light blue jeans were full of holes and caked with dirt and her gray t-shirt fared no better.

Aquene grabbed her hand and tried to hoist herself up, but her feet slipped out from under her. Alexandra smirked.

“Stop laughing at me,” Aquene ordered.

“I’m not laughing at you,” Alexandra responded. Aquene tried again – and slipped again. Alexandra tried to suppress her laughter but failed. She let out a snicker, and then busted up laughing. Aquene pretended to look hurt, and let go of Alexandra’s hand.

“Forget you!’ Aquene exclaimed. She pushed herself to her feet and just stood there, watching Alexandra laugh with an amused expression. When Alex tried to sober herself, Aquene pretended to look stern. Alexandra pointed at her and started speaking slowly.

“You… are such… a klutz.” Aquene blinked repeatedly. Alexandra stared at her with a horribly hidden smile. Then the yard was filled with their roaring laughter.

“What are you dorks laughing at?” Alexandra tried to stop laughing so that she could explain.

“Oh, Ace! If you knew…” She started laughing again.

“You’d be laughing too!” Aquene finished. Ace shook his head.

“You guys are a bunch of nerds,” he said.

“But you love us anyway,” Alexandra remarked, calming down. When they stopped laughing, Ace asked again, “So what was so funny?”

“Oh.” Aquene looked at Alexandra. “Chantesuta will tell you.” Then she dashed into the orphanage. Ace looked at Alexandra.

“So… Aquene said Chantesuta will tell me. What does that mean anyway?” he asked.

“She won’t tell me.” Silence. “And what does she call you again?”

“Menawa. So, tell me what you were laughing about.”

“Oh, Aquene attacked me and then I pushed her off and then I tried to help her up and then she slipped and then I started laughing and then she slipped again and I laughed some more and she stood up and I called her a klutz and she laughed at me and I laughed at her and then you walked up and asked what we dorks were laughing at.”

“Oh.” Then we heard the dinner bell ring.

“Hey, do you know what dinner is tonight?” Alexandra asked.

“Mac n’ cheese and hotdogs,” Ace replied.

“Oh, yeah. It’s Friday, isn’t it?”

“Yup!” he said cheerily. I punched him in the arm.

“Then what are we waiting for?” I took off toward the house with Ace right behind me. We met Aquene by the door.

“It took you guys long enough!” she exclaimed.

“Well, we’re here now, so –”

“Ace, Alex, Aquene, take a seat,” the headmistress ordered. They obeyed without question, slipping into their seats, eager to start the meal.

The headmistress turned to the 8 year-old boy next to her.

“Pass the plates around,” she ordered. The little boy, Thomas, nodded and picked up the paper plates. He took two for himself – one for extra protection – and passed the plates to his left. Everyone else did the same, but some of the boys that liked to pile on the food took three or four plates.

“Now remember, tonight is the night– ”

“We know,” Ace muttered. “You’ve been reminding us all week.” The headmistress glared at him.

Alexandra was shocked that the headmistress had heard him; she was sitting right next to him and she had barely heard him. But then again, the headmistress heard everything. She was new. The old headmistress had been kind and gentle with the young ones, but this one scolded them repeatedly and didn’t seem to like anything. Or anyone.

The headmistress watched everyone with a stern eye as they cautiously scooped food on their plates. Aquene was literally shaking in terror as she took her helping – a small scoop, barely even a mouthful.

“Aquene!” the headmistress barked sharply. Aquene’s eyes widened.

“Why don’t you put more food on your plate? You’ll die of malnutrition if you don’t – like your friend Alex over there.” Alex wasn’t sure whether to take that as a compliment or not.

“Y-yes ma’am,” Aquene squeaked, and piled more food on her plate. A sharp sound – almost like a hiss – from the headmistress ceased her gather of food. She put the spoon back in the pot and passed it to Alex.

“You shouldn’t let her beat you up like that,” Alexandra whispered. Aquene shot her a sharp glance and tipped her head very slightly to the headmistress. Alex looked and saw her eyes narrowed at her. Suddenly, Alex got an idea. She scooped out a huge amount of macaroni and cheese and dumped it on her plate. Then she grabbed three hot dogs and put those on her plate as well. She waited for half a second before she got the response that she wanted.

“Alexandra Pierce! Why on earth are you taking so much food? This is an orphanage! We’re low on money and donations are at an all-time low,” the headmistress boomed. Alex looked innocent.

“I’m sorry. I just don’t want to die of malnutrition. Because then I would be dead, and that wouldn’t be good at all.” The headmistress stared her down.

“Yes,” she finally sighed. “What a shame for you to die for lack of nutrients. Hopefully the lack of one meal shouldn’t bring that on any quicker. To your room.”

“But I didn’t do anything!” Alexandra protested.

“Now.” The headmistress’s voice was like steel. It sent shivers down Alexandra’s spine. She shoved her chair back and stood up. She motioned for Ace and Aquene to come with her. The scooted their chairs back and followed her, leaving the headmistress fuming.


Chapter 2


“Who does she think she is?” Ace demanded. The blonde haired boy with a lighting quick temper paced the room, angry as all get out. His brown eyes looked red through the fading light of the sun through the window.

“The headmistress,” Aquene replied miserably.

“Yeah, well she can kiss my-”

“Watch your language,” Alex interjected.

“-butt,” Ace finished. Alex sighed.

“That lady can’t be human,” Aquene moaned. “If you tried to cut out her heart like they did to Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean 3, there wouldn’t be anything there.”

“I completely agree!” Ace said, still pacing.

“Ace.” Alexandra reached out and grabbed his arm. “Stop pacing. You’ll wear the soles of your shoes.” Ace lifted up his foot and showed them.

“What soles?” he asked.

“The one’s on the bottom of your shoes, dummy,” she replied. Ace growled at her and ripped his arm out of her grip.

Suddenly, the door opened, and the headmistress stepped in.

“Alexandra Pierce. You acted out of turn, you were dishonorable, you were a bad example for the little ones, and therefore you must be punished,” she said. That’s when the headmistress pushed it a little too far.

“Little ones? Little ones!?” Ace screamed. “You treat them like cr*p! Since, unlike you, I have half a freaking mind, I’m going to let you know exactly what the-”

“Language!” Alex cautioned. Aquene looked horrified.

“-heck I think of you, you witch! Ever since you got here you’ve been nothing but mean, rude, hateful, unpleasant, and you have absolutely no regard for us as human beings at all!” The headmistress just stared at him with an evilly calm expression.

“I can’t wait until I get adopted or turn eighteen and I can get out of this h*ll-hole!” The headmistress cracked a smile. Aquene closed her eyes as if watching a scary part in a horror movie. The headmistress raised her hand and pointed a hooked finger at Ace.

“You know nothing of h*ll.” Then she looked at her watch. “It’s almost six o’clock. Ace, you will join Alexandra in my office for punishment on the hour.” Then she turned and walked out. Alex walked over to Aquene and touched her shoulder.

“Don’t worry, Aquene,” Alex comforted. “She doesn’t like anybody, but there’s no way that she can’t not like you. You’re too sweet.” Aquene looked up. Her face was streaked with tears.

“You don’t understand!” Alex’s look urged to explain. “Do you know what my name means?”

“How could we possibly know that?” Ace replied, fuming. “You don’t tell us anything!”

“Ace!” Alex snapped. She looked back at Aquene. “What does your name mean?”

“Peace. I am supposed to be a peacemaker! I’m supposed to be brave – an arbitrator who can stand in the middle of armies charging toward each other and be the one to make them stop! Instead I’m sitting here on the sidelines, crying while the two of you lash out at each other, and while other people lash out at you!” Alex touched her shoulder, trying to comfort her.

“It’s six.” Ace’s voice broke the silence, and Alex stared at him.

“Time to face the music,” Alex sighed.

“More like ‘Time to face the fire’,” Ace muttered. Alex shot him a glare and he shrugged.

“Best get to it, then.” Alex looked at Aquene. Tears were brimmed her eyes. “Oh, come on, Aquene. What could she possibly do to us?” Aquene looked away.

“Let’s just go, Alex,” Ace said. He led the way out. Alex gave up and followed him. The hallway was short but it felt like an eternity to the two victims.

Alex’s hands started to shake, making them sweat. Ace looked kindly down at her. He looked forward again, but Alex felt something brush her hand. She hid a smile as Ace’s hand slid into hers just as they reached the doorway to the main office, which was attached to the headmistress’s bedroom. Ace gave her hand a final squeeze and let go right as they walked into the office. The headmistress was sitting at her desk, looking at some papers.

“Go into the bedroom,” she ordered without looking up. They single-filed into her bedroom and sat on the bed, awaiting further instruction. Exactly three minutes later (Ace was watching the clock), the headmistress came in with a hat.

“Pick your punishment,” she said with a cruel smile, shaking the hat. Ace shrugged and picked out a piece of paper.

It read, “Spanking,” but with their dyslexia, it looked something like “angSkpni,” but over the course of unscrambling the word, they figured it out.

Ace looked up at her.

“You have to be joking.” The headmistress shook her head.

“Turn around and bend over.” Ace’s face turned bright red.

“There is no freaking way –”

“Bend over!” Ace shot a look at Alex, and she shrugged, even though her hands were shaking again. Ace sighed and turned around. The two of them bent over on the bed.

“The pain doesn’t last long,” Alex whispered to him.

The headmistress’s voice rang out behind them, “You have no idea.” She didn’t know why, but something about the headmistress’s voice made Alex cringe. It sounded different. Almost….. like a snake – if snakes could talk.

Ace and Alex thought they heard the headmistress laugh evilly and mutter “Three…two…one-”

“Oh no you don’t!” A voice filled with rage sounded in the room. Ace and Alex whirled around just to see Aquene tackling this…this…giant, hairless bat-like creature with what looked like recently burned skin overstretched on her body with a flaming whip in her hand.

“Don’t just stand there!” Aquene screamed. “Run!” Her sentence was cut short from the headmistress/bat-thing’s whip. It made a hissing noise as it flew through the air, landing with a fire-cracker loud snap – right across Aquene’s back. The blood-curdling scream that came out of Aquene’s mouth before she fell face-down onto the carpet froze Alexandra’s blood, petrifying her. She wanted to help, but she couldn’t move.

Ace, on the other hand, was anything but frozen to the spot. He charged the ugly bat-thing head on and tackled it to the ground. Then he started relentlessly throwing punches into its face.

“I’ve always wanted to do this!” he shouted gleefully and he whooped with joy.

Alex unfroze when she remembered Aquene, who was lying still on the floor. She dashed over to the unconscious girl and inspected the damage.

It was bad.

She was almost relieved when Dante, a Hispanic boy of about 16, burst into the room. He didn’t even seem to notice the burnt lump of skin still being pummeled by Ace. He almost…trotted… in the sense of the word, over to Aquene and Alex. He knelt down and examined the slice across her back.

“This is bad,” Alex heard him mutter. “This is really bad.” Dante took a dropper out of his pocket. He turned Aquene a little bit so that he could get her mouth in a slightly upward direction. He squeezed the liquid into her mouth and muttered a curse.

“It’s not enough!” He seemed to notice Alex for the first time. “Did you see…” he looked at Aquene.

“Yup,” Alex replied. Dante looked at Ace and tossed something to him.

“Ace, catch!” he said. Ace barely looked up to calculate the direction that the bronze butter knife was coming from, before he plucked it out of the air. Dante turned back to Alex.

“Okay,” he said. “Help me pick her up. But be careful!” he warned. “Don’t come into any contact with her back at all.” Alex nodded. Dante moved over to Aquene’s head and picked her up from the front. Alex followed in suit and lifted her legs so her they wouldn’t drag.

“Can we turn her-” Alex began.

“No. It’s too risky.” Suddenly, a horrible scream sounded and Alex whipped her head around to see Ace driving the bronze butter knife into the heart of the headmistress. Instead of the normal rush of blood that most creatures would have, this creature burst into dust and flew out the open window. Ace looked at his hand, then at Dante.

“What is this?” he asked.

“Celestial bronze,” Dante replied. “Now, rapido! We need to leave at once.”

“No kidding.”

“Ace!” Alex said sharply. “Come on, help us carry her.” Ace, instead of helping, just took her legs from Alex and the two boys made fast progress. It was only then that Alex noticed that Dante didn’t have his crutches. He had some disease in his legs or something that made it hard for him to walk, but now he was fine.

“Dante?” Alex asked. “Where are your crutches?”

She barely got the words out before Dante replied, “I’ll explain later, but now we just need to get you three out of here.”

“Where are we going?” Ace asked, trying not to trip as he was the one walking backward.

After a slight hesitation, Dante replied, “Camp Half-Blood.”













Chapter 3


Aquene felt a hand on her shoulder. She knew it was Alex without looking up.

“Don’t worry, Aquene.” Aquene knew Alex was only trying to comfort her, like she was some child afraid of a thunderstorm. “She doesn’t like anybody, but there’s no way that she can’t not like you. You’re too sweet.”

Anger flared inside Aquene’s stomach, and it caused a fresh burst of tears right as she looked up.

“You don’t understand!” she sobbed. Alex’s face told her that she wanted to know more, so she asked a stupid question. “Do you know what my name means?”

“How could we possibly know that?” Ace replied. His words cut her like ice. “You don’t tell us anything!”

“Ace!” Alex snapped. With a frustrated grunt, she asked, “What does your name mean?” Aquene sighed and wiped her eyes.

“Peace. I am supposed to be a peacemaker! I’m supposed to be brave – an arbitrator who can stand in the middle of armies charging toward each other and be the one to make them stop! Instead I’m sitting here on the sidelines, crying while the two of you lash out at each other, and while other people lash out at you!” Alex touched her shoulder, but Aquene shrugged it off and looked away.

“It’s six.” Ace’s voice broke the silence, and Alex stared at him. Finally, she relaxed.

“Time to face the music,” Alex sighed.

“More like ‘Time to face the fire’,” Ace muttered. The way that he said it made Aquene cry again, fearing for her beloved friends.

“Best get to it, then.” Alex looked at Aquene and saw her new tears. “Oh, come on, Aquene. What could she possibly do to us?” Aquene looked away, ashamed.

“Let’s just go, Alex,” Ace said. Then they left, leaving Aquene alone with her thoughts.

“Oh, Chantesuta, Menawa, I am afraid for you.” She sat in silence for two minutes, toying with her hair – unbraiding it and re-braiding it. Finally she could stand the silence no more. She got up and walked to the door.

Be brave, my little peacemaker.

Aquene heard a soothing female voice. She looked around, but there was no one there. The sound of the voice was kind and gentle, but almost…. guilty.

Aquene shook her head to clear her thoughts and stepped out of the room. Light on her feet, she tore down the hall, her feet eating up the carpet. At each step, a memory of her, Alex, and Ace filled her mind. She didn’t know why, but she knew the headmistress was more than meets the eye – although what meets the eye isn’t exactly peaches in a pie….

She silently reached the door to the headmistress’s office. She tried the doorknob. Locked. She pulled a bobbypin out of her hair and wiggled it around in the lock. She heard a pop.

Excellent! she thought. She opened the door silently, praying that the headmistress wouldn’t be in her office. She peeked inside the room and let out a breath of relief when she found it empty. She opened the door to a point where she could just barely slip inside, to avoid as much noise as possible.

She kept her back to the wall as she scooted sideways toward the headmistress’s bedroom. She looked through the cracked door and raised an eyebrow when she saw Alex and Ace bent over on the headmistress’s bed. She quickly lowered it when she saw that the headmistress held in her hand a leather belt. They were getting spanked. Aquene almost giggled.

Aquene heard the headmistress say, “You have no idea.” Then she transformed. It was silent. Her human form flickered and wavered like television reception that was fuzzing out. Aquene watched as the headmistress grew taller – about eight feet tall. Her arms grew longer and her shoulder blades stretched until they grew wings that had the color of raw steak – as did her whole body in a matter of a few seconds. Her feet grew talons and appeared off balance, one foot being far larger than the other.

Aquene watched – not with fear – but with a chilling confirmation about her suspicions. The headmistress wasn’t human after all. She tried to think of something to do to save her friends, who were unaware of the headmistress’s transformation. But then another thing changed. Aquene saw it out of the corner of her eye, a change in the belt. It grew and grew until it was a whip. The headmistress thing blew on it and it burst into flames. Then she let a bit of purple drool plop onto the whip. It sizzled.

Poison, the voice in Aquene’s head said. Save your friends! Quickly!

Aquene saw the headmistress raise the whip and chuckle.

“Three…two…one -” Aquene saw her chance. She burst into the room, surprising the headmistress into dropping the whip.

“Oh no you don’t!” Aquene screamed. As she launched herself at the headmistress, knocking her down, she saw Ace and Alex whirl around in surprise. Ace got over his shock quickly, but Alex wouldn’t move. The headmistress wriggled out of her grasp and stood up.

“Don’t just stand there!” Aquene shouted to Alex. “Run!” She was raising herself off the ground when she heard a crack that split the air. A millisecond later, she felt the flesh being ripped off her back. She let out a scream that she thought would reach California. She felt her skin being seared from the poison and fire mixture that the headmistress held on her back. The skin on her back was bubbling like boiled water.

Aquene felt herself grow weaker as the poison took effect. Her arms gave out and she collapsed onto the floor where her vision blurred. She started to grow numb from the legs up. Her toes, then her feet, ankles, shins, calves, thighs, gluts, hips, waist, fingers, stomach, forearms, ribcage, biceps and triceps, chest, and then her neck and face. She felt her very life slipping away as she lay helpless on the floor.

Aquene felt the pressure of something – or someone – touching her, and it sent a jolt of blazing pain through her body. White flashed behind her eyes and they rolled back in her head.













Chapter 4


“We can stop for the night,” Dante said. Alex collapsed where she stood. Dante looked around. “Umm, it would be best if we could find some shelter instead of sleeping on the ground like hobos.”

“What do you have against hobos?” Ace asked critically.

“Enough to make me not want to be seen like one,” Dante retorted. “Come on, Alex. A little farther.” Alex groaned and got to her feet again.

“Where are we going again?”

“For the nth time, Camp Half-Blood in New York!” Dante growled.

“Well, sor-ry. Last I checked, I wasn’t the one making us walk half of (New Jersey) to some mythical camp where the children of the gods live. I mean, come on now. Ace, you don’t believe this crap, do you?” Ace didn’t answer. Alexandra’s face went pale.

“Do you.” This time, she said it more as a statement than a question.

“Look at what just happened Alex! Look at Dante! He doesn’t even have feet! How can you be so blind? You saw that thing. You saw what it did to Aquene. How can you question the truth of the matter?” Ace asked. “And to think I used to be the skeptical one.”

“More like stubborn,” Alex muttered. She shut up until they reached an alleyway.
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“Stay here,” Dante ordered. “I have some friends that can help. In the meantime, keep Aquene on her stomach. And, by the gods, stay hidden!” Then he vanished around the stone corner of a building.

Even though it was summer, the wind started picking up and it started to get cold.

“Summer storm,” Ace commented. “We’ve been expecting one for quite some time now.”

“I know,” Alex snapped. “You’re not the only one who watches the evening news.” He put his hands up in surrender. He lowered his eyes to Aquene and wrinkled his nose.

“That’s disgusting.”

“What?” Alex asked, but Ace was already taking off his shirt. “What are you doing?” He didn’t reply as he wadded it up and stuck it under Aquene’s head just as the clouds started to role overhead. Alexandra’s heart softened at his act of kindness. It wasn’t like Ace to care too much about other people, but she guess it had something to do with Aquene’s…condition.

“It’s going to rain soon,” Alex stated.

“Yeah,” Ace said. “So?”

“Meaning it’s going to get cold.”

“Yeah. So?”

“You’re shirtless.”

“Yeah. So?” Alex rolled her eyes.

“You’re going to get cold.”

“Yeah. So?”

“I thought that maybe you might like to borrow my -”

“Please don’t take off your shirt.” Alex was surprised for a second.

“Um… I wasn’t going to. I was going to ask if you wanted to borrow my sweatshirt. I brought it.”

“Obviously, otherwise you wouldn’t have offered for me to borrow it.”

“Ugh! You are impossible!” That made Ace grin.

“Yeah. So?” Alex just shook her head.

“I don’t know how I deal with you.” Ace just smiled and shrugged.

“Me neither.”

“So do you want to borrow it or not?”

“No thanks.” Alex let out an exasperated sigh. Just then, they heard someone running down the street. Wait, no… three people. Or two people and one satyr. Or just three random people. Something in Alex wished for the group with the satyr.

Sure enough, the goat-boy Dante and two others – a boy and a girl – rounded the corner and dashed toward them.

“Hand me the nectar,” Dante ordered when they reached them. The boy took a water-bottle out of his backpack and handed it to Dante. The boy and the girl turned to Ace and Alex.

“I’m Percy,” the boy said. “Poseidon’s son.” He stuck his hand out to shake hers. She just looked at it suspiciously. Shirtless Ace didn’t even acknowledge the hand when it was presented to him.

Percy looked about fifteen. His hair was black and his eyes were like a sea-green color. He looked nice enough, but his claim to be Poseidon’s son was just a bit too much.

“I’m Piper, Aphrodite’s daughter. Nice to meet you,” the girl said.

“Take no offense,” said Alex. “But under the circumstances I can’t say that I’m thrilled to meet you.” Piper nodded.

“Understood. And do we get the privilege of learning your names?” Ace shook his head. Alex slapped him across the chest.

“Be nice. I’m Alex. This is Ace. She’s Aquene.” Percy and Piper exchanged a glance. “And we have absolutely no idea about what’s going on right now so please be patient if we don’t immediately believe in everything that you do.” Percy shrugged.

“Fair enough.” Ace turned around to face Dante.

“How is she?” he asked.

“The nectar is drawing the poison out,” Dante replied.

“How is she?” he asked again.

“Better than before.”

“Holy crap, Dante! Just answer the -”

“Language,” Alex muttered, lost in her own thoughts.

“-stupid question!” Dante looked up.

“She’s not good. She’s better than before, but if before is worse, this is bad. Does that answer your question?”

“Finally, yes.” Percy looked at Alex.

“Are you the leader?” he asked.

“Leader of what?” she replied.

“You know, the group.” Alexandra’s face hardened, but Ace was the one to answer.

“This is a democracy, not a monarchy. We’re friends. We work together and make decisions together. If you can’t deal with that, then get the crap out of here.” Percy took a step back as if shocked. Ace easily towered over Percy at already 6’0 at thirteen years old. Percy was probably only 5’6 or so – about Alex’s height. Piper was a few inches shorter than Alex and Percy – around Aquene’s height.

In fact, Piper looked a lot like Aquene. Copper skin and black hair – the easily identifiable features of the descendants of Indians. Aquene’s grandfather had followed a lot of the old ways like in the way he cooked and decorated his house. Alex didn’t know about Piper, though, being a complete stranger and all.

“Ace,” Alex said, her energy waning, “Chill out.”

“It’s cold enough,” he retorted.

“I offered you my sweatshirt.” The glance Ace shot her chilled her bones. Percy turned his head to Piper.

“Ares,” she heard him whisper.

“What?” Ace demanded. Percy’s head whipped up.

“Oh, nothing,” he replied quickly. Piper stepped in.

“Oh, um… I forgot to give you these.” Piper pulled out her little handheld wallet that people model with on the runways. She reached her hand in, but what she did next surprised Alex even more. She stuck her whole arm in, sifting it around in her bag, looking for something.

“H-how are you doing that?” asked Alex. Piper looked up, as if just noticing her.

“Oh. It was a gift from my mom. It’s bottomless, so I end up sticking everything in here – which is why I can’t seem to find the clothes that we stole for you.”

“Borrowed,” Percy corrected her. “We borrowed them.”

“With no intention of giving them back,” Piper retorted. Percy shrugged.

“You got me there.” Piper smiled.

“I know.” Then she looked up. “We’d better find some shelter. Zeus doesn’t look very happy right now.” The sky rumbled. “Just an observation of the weather,” she added quickly. The sky calmed just a bit.

“Nice guy, huh?” Ace observed, looking up.

“Nice enough,” Percy replied, looking up as well.

“So if your claim to be Poseidon’s son is true, the that would make Zeus your…?”

“Uncle. Hades too. If anyone’s not nice, it’s him. He tricked his wife Persephone into eating a pomegranate -”

“We know,” Alex butted in impatiently. “We’ve all heard the story.” Percy looked at her.

“Have you?”

“As a matter of fact I have.”

“Hm.”

“‘Hm,’ what?”

“Oh, nothing.”

“Stop saying that.” Percy looked at Ace.

“She’s real charming, ain’t she?” Ace put his arm around Alex almost…protectively.

“That’s right,” Ace growled.

“How old are you guys again?”

“What do you mean ‘again’?”

“Just answer the stupid question!” Piper snapped at Alex. Alex looked at her. A grin tugged at her lips.

“If you don’t mind me, I like to be difficult, so I’m going to say no.” Piper looked shocked.

“You didn’t react to my charmspeak,” she said. Alex rolled her eyes.

“Whatever that is,” she spat. Piper looked at Ace.

“Tell me how old you are.”

“Thirteen.” The words just slipped out of him. Piper looked back at Alex.

“That’s charmspeak. I can make people do whatever I want just by talking to them. Only certain children of Aphrodite have the gift, and only other charmspeakers and gods can resist. So you must be a daughter of Aphrodite that can charmspeak.” Piper looked at Ace. “Even without the sign, I can easily tell that you’re the son of Ares, the god of war.” Ace smirked.

“Then watch it,” he threatened. Alexandra was still trying to get over what Piper said about her being a daughter of Aphrodite. The goddess of…what? Being pretty? No, beauty. And love, if she remembered correctly. Her, the daughter of the goddess of love and beauty? The thought made her laugh out loud.

“What’s so funny?” Ace asked.

“Can you see me being the daughter of the goddess of love and beauty?” Ace looked her over.

“Nope!” he teased. “Not a bit.” Piper piped up.

“Well what about me?” she asked. Ace looked her over and wrinkled his nose.

“Definitely not.” A fist lashed out at his face. Ace caught it with lightning-fast reflexes, Piper’s fist three inches from Ace’s face.

“Piper!” Percy shouted. He pulled them apart. “Come on, now. This is your first legitimate -”

“Second!” Piper snarled.

“Second, sorry. This is your second legitimate quest. Don’t screw it up.”

“I still don’t see why you picked me to go with you,” she grumbled.

“Because I thought you’d be helpful, seeing as there’s more than one girl.”

“So why didn’t you bring Clarisse?”

“Do you really think Clarisse would have come with me? And be reasonable; I needed someone levelheaded to come with me on this part of the quest.”

“What do you mean this part?” Alex asked. Percy looked at her.

“We have another person waiting for us closer to New York.”

“Who?” Out of the corner of her eye, Alex saw Piper looking through her bottomless wallet again.

“Haden, daughter of Hephaestus.”

“I don’t know why you brought her, either,” Piper mumbled.

“Because she’s sensible, unlike you.” Piper was about to snap a reply, but Dante’s voice froze the words in her mouth.

“She’s coming to,” he said excitedly. Alex and Ace whirled around.

“Is that good?” Ace asked.

“Well, it just increased her chances of surviving from 0% to 75:25, so yes. I’d say that’s pretty good!” Alex’s jaw dropped.

“She only has a 25% chance of surviving?” she asked, her voice barely audibly over the pitter patter of rain starting to fall.

“At the moment, but longer the nectar has to work, the better she gets, and the more chance she has of surviving,” Dante replied.

“What’s nectar?” Ace asked.

“It’s god food,” Percy replied. “Demigods like us can eat it in portions without burning up, but mortals can’t touch it. Or they will burn up.”

“Lovely,” Alex commented. “Thanks for that beautiful image now running through my head.”

“Sorry.”

“Here they are!” Piper exclaimed, pulling out a bunch of clothes.

“Don’t bring them out now!” Ace shouted. “It’s raining!” Piper put them back in.

“You’re right. Come on, then! Let’s get to some shelter.”




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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

Acastillo said...
Nov. 8, 2011 at 10:09 pm:
Wow, it turned out great! I liked how you described the characters because it was so easy to picture them in your mind.
 
MidnightNow1127 replied...
Nov. 8, 2011 at 10:20 pm :
Thanks! When I described Alexandra to my cousin, he said, "I can imagine her walking past and a bunch of guys turning their heads and whistling." I felt flattered, because I had based her appearance off of my own. When I told him that, he widened his eyes and said, "That just blew the image right out my mind." I didn't feel so flattered anymore :/ But I'm really glad you like it :)
 
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