A Hard Knock Life
Maggie and Emily got a formal send-off from the camp as they mounted their sturdy white pegasi. Each pegasus had a saddle bag strapped to their sides. With a regal-like wave from Maggie and a last, 'help me,' mouthed to Monica from Emily, they were gone.
Audrey didn't feel comfortable on a pegasi, and all the Delphi Strawberry trucks were out in the city, so we set out on foot. It was a nice day. The sun warmed our backs and the grass felt soft under our feet. I had never seen a monster before, and I was naive enough to think I never would. How very wrong I was. We were half-way between Olympus and Camp when we heard screaming. The strangest thing was, no one around us seemed to think anything was unusual.
Then I saw something familiar: a boy with two furry legs. A satyr. A gust of wind made his eyes widen. He sniffed again and looked straight at us. "Help!" he cried. "Hurry!" On his face was a look of absolute horror. Wow, this could be a trap, I thought, but we followed him at a flat-out sprint. I lagged a bit behind Audrey, Monica, and goat boy. If I ever get back to camp, I thought, I'm going to train with demigods. The muscles in my calves burned, but I got new energy when I saw the disaster.
The Long Island Youth Mentoring Facility was burning with Greek fire. The green flames flared through doors and windows. The screaming was from kids and teens that were trapped inside.
"I'm a protector," the satyr wheezed, "And a cyclops set this place on fire. Oh, you have to help!"
Audrey looked scared out of her mind. That's probably how I looked too. Monica, however, looked determined as she closed the distance to the burning building.
"I'm Monica, daughter of Hades. This is Audrey, daughter of Iris, and...Daphne. Don't worry. Everything is going to be fine."
Water, I thought. We need water. "Dang it! We need Maggie!" I cried.
"No!" Monica shouted back. "Regular water can't put out these flames! I have an idea! Go back!" Suddenly, the ground split and several dead firefighters came out, hoses ready. "Put out the fire!" she ordered. Then she turned to Audrey, they satyr and I and called, "Run! They have water from the Lethe!" We bolted and the firefighters sprayed. The flames flickered and died.
Kids ran out of the ruined building. They all looked confused. The Lethe had wiped their memories slate clean.
"Thank the gods everyone is alive!" Audrey simpered.
Monica snapped her fingers, and with a look towards Audrey, she did the same. The eyes of the kids went strangely blank. "Hurry, I can't hold it very long," Monica said, "But try to think of all these kids getting their memories back." I focused, and so did goat boy. After a second, Monica exhaled. "They'll be fine. Thank the gods that worked." Then she dropped to the ground, looking dead tired.
"What did we just do?" I asked, utterly confused.
"Manipulated the Mist," Audrey answered. "Pretty cool, right?"
"Hey goat boy," I said to the saytr, "What's your name?" I had noticed that he was pretty cute.
He blushed. "Tony," he answered. Then he leaned closer to me. "You're a mortal."
"I know," I retorted. His eyebrows furrowed. "Got yourself any demigods here?" I asked.
"Hard to tell," he answered. "Most of the kids here have ADHD. A couple have dyslexia too. Some are strong, others are really smart. Most of them get in a lot of trouble. There is one thought, that I think might be...a son of Hades. His name is Joseph Tablanco."
Monica sat up really fast. "What? Say that again."
"Ummm, which part?" Tony asked.
"Never mind, I heard," Monica assured quickly. "Can I meet Joseph?"
"I'll go get him," Tony answered. He trotted away.
"When did you come to Camp Half-Blood?" Audrey asked. We had both realized what had happened. Joseph was probably a brother of Monica. A full-brother.
"I was only five when a satyr took me to Camp," she answered. "I could have siblings and not even know it."A little boy that looked just like Monica ran up with Tony. He had a huge, toothy grin on his face. He ran straight towards Monica and gave her a big hug. He was probably seven years old. "Mom told me you would come back," he said simply. "Stay here. I'll call mom."
The Next Day
The next day, we headed again towards Manhattan, after a home cooked meal with Monica's family. Mrs. Tablanco was driving Joseph and Tony to Camp Half-Blood. Let me back up a bit. Here's what happened: Monica was reunited and spent the rest of the day with her family. Tony, Audrey, and I were invited to the Tablanco's for dinner and a place to sleep. Then with several hugs and well-wishes later, we were on the road again.
Monica was in a daze. She hadn't seen her mother in eight years, and she had met her only full-brother in existence. Pretty cool, huh? It was nearing noon now, the time when out boat was to take off across the Atlantic.