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Othrys Wing; Monday

Ares was waliking down the hall when Pan suddenly teleported behind him.

"Hey! Ares! H-ulch!" Ares grabbed Pan by the throat. "What do you want, goat-boy?"

"*gag* Hermes wanted me to give this to you!" Pan handed him an orange flyer.

"Who's this from?" Ares squinted, "Hephaestus, eh? I wonder why'd he invite me to a party... with a Field of Fire match!"

"Yup! Nearly everyone's going! Even Tartarus is competing!"

"Tartarus!? Hephaestus invited him!?"

"No, but there are rumors he's gonna try to enter the server."

"Count me in! Oh wait, my laptop sucks! I can't bring it!"

"You don't have to. Hephaestus is providing his holoscreens, mice and keyboards."

"Sweet!"

"Better hurry up though cuz you gotta sign in to play now!"

And Pan threw a smoke grenade on the ground and disappeared.

"Huh. That kid never runs out of smoke grenades."

10 minutes before the party...

Rachel, wearing her signature pink jacket, stopped her bike in front of Hephaestus's house. The second she saw it, she gasped. The whole thing was a tall, skinny four story mansion, with floor to ceiling windows, solar panels, a bunch of tiny rotating windmills on the side, a hydrogen fuel tank, a Halo Reach Onager on the roof, and even a Kowaikan Monkey-Lizard grafittied on one side. Eventually, Hephaestus came out of the automatic sliding door and saw Rachel.

"Hello Oracle. Welcome to my lair."

"Nice house, nerd. Hey, how were you able to afford all this?"

"My parents are nuclear physicists working at the LHC. And of course the scholarships and the fact that I beta test aspiring technologies and video games and get paid for it, but it's okay. Come in I'll show you around."

Rachel entered, and gaped at the high ceiling, the LED lighting, and even the sofas and loveseats surrounding the fireplace.

"Where's your TV?"

"Oh, right. Hal?" And Hephaestus clapped his hands twice.

Rachel looked above the fireplace, and the wall lit up until it became an HD rendition of The Great Dictator.

"Cool right?"

"Yeah, but where's the party taking place?"

"Oh! Right, um... It's only accesible by elevator, and it's right here." Hephaestus led Rachel to a golden elevator with an Omega printed on it. They entered quietly. "Sugar, Sugar." played and Rachel was feeling awkward in there. Then the ding came, the door opened and she gaped again. It wasn't just a game room, it was the game room.

Video game cases were stacked along shelves. A shelf on its side held three Xbox 360s connected to flatscreens with wireless controllers charging. Another shelf identical to it held three PS3s in the same manner. Even vintage Atari game systems were lined up against a wall. A glass sphere with a steel frame was wrapped around a chair and connected to a gyroscope. A sign on it said, "Onager targeting system. Do not ride." But the centerpiece was six tables lined in two columns on a white tile platform, lit up blue and red by fluorescent light. Three pairs of a wireless cutaway keyboard and a mouse were evenly spaced on the tables, and a small, round projector of some kind sat directly in front of them.

"This is-is impossible! The amount of power required for these kinds of electronics-"

"-is powered by the hydrogen plants installed on the roof, the resulting water powering another generator and cutting down on the house's water bill, the wind turbines and solar panels on the roof and side, waste heat from the electronics concentrated and used to burn the hydrogen, and the whole cycle starts again." By the time he finished, Rachel was half asleep and drooling.

"Ah, crap," he snapped his fingers three times, "Rachel, wake up!"

Rachel snapped back looking frazzled. "Whoa, what?"

Hephaestus sighed. "Okay, everyone's supposed to be arriving... Right. About. Now."

Immediately the sound of horns, revving cars, and socializing people filled the street.

"Okay, let's invite our guests in. Oh, Hal, tell 'em that to play Black Ops 2 Beta, Modern Warfare 3, Halo 4 Beta, Battlefield 3, and Field of Fire need a charge of an extra five bucks."

"Yes sir," a calm robotic voice responded.

Hephaestus opened the lock, and let his guests in. More than half the school was there.

"Hello everyone! Welcome to my lair of awesomeness!" Everyone gaped like Rachel did on the interior. "Now, people, as it says in the flyer, it costs five bucks to enter the video game lair. In order to play in the Field of Fire match, however so there isn't a waiting list, it costs another ten bucks, and to play First-Person Shooter games on the Xbox 360s it only costs another five. Oh, and betting on who wins the match will be shortly after the teams are made. So, just put your money in the box, and you go straight to the Omega elevator to my back."

Ares yelled, "Watch me pwn all of you stupid noobs! Here's your fifteen!"

Hephaestus replied, "Alright! First one on the FoF list, Ares!"

To be continued...

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