Malcolm had been flying over Manhattan for an hour now. Chiron had sent him on a recon mission to try to locate the Roman's temporary headquarters. For the past few days the threat of a Roman invasion loomed over Camp Half-Blood. It was crucial to everyone that the Roman's be flushed out of hiding and run out of New York. His eyes scanned the layout of the city but his mind just wasn't connected to them.
Leo and Piper had sent a message about the status of their quest. Malcolm had been in the Big House with Clarrise and Chiron when the message appeared. Piper had tried to use her Charmspeak to make the news easier to take but it hadn't worked. He remembered feeling like wind had been knocked out of him. His sister Annabeth, had fallen into Tartarus along with Percy Jackson, one of his best friends. He wanted to find a way to get to Rome as fast as possible. He had burst out of the Big House and ran to the stables. Chiron had caught up to him before he could even mount a pegasus.
Chiron had talked him out of doing anything reckless. Malcolm had known it wasn't the child-of-Athena-thing to do but he need to try and do something. Chiron told him to focus his energy on something more productive. After making him swear on the River Styx not to do anything rash Chiron allowed Malcolm to take a pegasus and fly over Manhattan.
He steered his pegasus, Guido, towards Central park and they touched down near the pond so Guido could drink. He picked up a few stones and skipped them on the surface. He threw his last stone, deep in thought when a roar brought him back to his sences. The sound had come just north of the pond maybe only a few hundred yards away. He mounted Guido and took off. He needed some thing to take his anger out on and fighting a rouge monster was always good therapy for demigods.
He flew a few yards above the tree line keeping a lookout for the beast. Suddenly he heard another sound, something crying out in agony and a loud thud. He looked down into a clearing and almost fell of his pegasus. A girl with brown hair and a purple t-shirt stood in the middle of a clearing holding a golden pilum. The girl was going toe to toe with a ten foot tall cyclops. The cyclops had a few scratches and wounds but was still fighting and roaring with rage.
Malcolm could tell the girl was a roman, he should've turned around, headed back to camp, and let the girl live or die on her own. But something, a knot in his chest, probably the guilt building up, stopped him. He watched for a few moments as the cyclops swung the club he was holding at the girl. She dodged and stepped inside his swing, stabbing him in the chest in one swift motion. The cyclops bellowed in pain and turned to dust. The girl brushed a hair out of her face and turned to exit the clearing. Malcolm manouvered Guido out of sight so she wouldn't spot them but he could keep an eye on her. He did not want to become that spears next victim. The girl was almost to the edge of the clearing when she let out a yelp.
Malcolm could see three more cyclopes emerge from the woods cutting off the girl's path. They quickly surrounded her forming a triangle with her in the middle. The cyclopes were shorter than the one that had recently been destroyed, maybe seven feet tall each. They all licked their lips and wore over sized bibs like the kind you got at a Red Lobster. Two held large crudley made swords, and one had a large battle axe and shield made from the hood of a truck. The girl gripped her spear tighter and prepared for a fight.
The two cyclopes with sword charged and the girl rolled out of the way when they brought their swords down. She tried to stab one with her spear but the other blocked with his sword. They then began working as a team pushing the girl back towards the woods. Malcom pulled out his sword and waited for an opening. He dug his heels into Guido and divebombed the cyclopes. He slashed his sword and decapitated one of the cyclopes. Its head flew through the air. It looked like a comet as the head turned to dust midair. Guido wanted in on the action and kicked the other cyclops, knocking it into a tree.
Malcolm dismounted Guido and ran to the girl's side. Before he could ask if she was okay her spear head was pointed at his throat. He held up his hands in surrender but the girl pressed the point closer to his throat.
"What do you want greacus?" She asked in a harsh tone nodding at his orange t-shirt. Her dark eyes borred into him and he guessed they would've been beautiful if they weren't full of hate.
Before Malcolm could answer the cyclops Guido had kick stood up and charged them. The girl didn't notice but Malcolm saw him advance. He knocked the spear away and pushed her out of the way as the cyclops attacked. Their swords clanged and the girl stood there shocked.
"To answer your question," Malcolm said through gritted teeth. "I thought you could use some help!"
He blocked a few more of the cyclops's attacks. The cyclops was a foot taller than Malcolm and way stronger. Even tough Malcolm worked out everyday and practiced with his sword constantly he still found the cyclops a tough opponent. He hadn't been in a solo fight with a monster since he, and the rest of the camp defended Manhattan last summer. He pairied the cyclops's thrust and disarmed the monster. He then thrust his sword hilt deep in the cyclops's chest. The cyclops turned to dust like the other two.
Malcolm turned back to face the girl but found her already in a fight with the last cyclops. She was fighting a loosing battle. Her spear couldn't penetrate the shield and she couldn't block the battle axe's swings. The cyclops slammed his shield into the girl and she was sent flying clear across the clearing. The cyclops limped toward the girl who didn't get up. The girl had managed to get one good stab in the cyclops's leg.
Malcolm ran and intercepted the monster taking a swing at his head. The cyclops blocked Malcolm with his shield then swung at him with his axe. Malcolm dodged and backed towards the trees. The cyclops swung and his axe struck a tree. It was lodged deep in the truck of a large maple tree and the cyclops couldn't pull it free. The cyclops let go of his axe and blocked with his shield. Malclom faked a low strike and he smiled when the cyclops lowered his shield. Malcolm jumped on the edge of the shield and when the cyclops raised his shield Malcolm was launched into the air. He pointed his sword down and impailed in sword in the monsters eye when he looked up. The monster exploded into a cloud of dust before Malcolm hit the ground.
Malcolm sheathed his sword and ran over to the girl. Before he got within ten feet he was tackled by a large metal object. He was sprawled on his back and looked up to see a golden, snarling dog standing on his chest. He looked over and saw a silver dog circling the girl, whining. Malcolm tried to get up put the golden dog pushed him back down. The dogs were obviously worried about the girl and thought he was a threat. He inspected the dogs closer trying not to look to much at its teeth. The dog weighed more than a normal dog, he could hear a faint ticking, and it the dog shined like metal! These dogs were automatons!
"Okay," Malcolm thought, "Maybe these guys will understand that I'm not trying to hurt her."
"Hey boy," Malcolm said trying to sound like he was talking to a normal dog and not a metal killing machine. "Is that your owner? She's hurt isn't she? I can help her, I can take her to my camp and make her feel better." The hound stopped snarling and tilted its head sideways. Malcolm looked over at the girl, a small line of blood trailed from her mouth.
"If I don't help her she could die." Malcolm pleaded with the dog. The dog standing near the girl barked sharply and the golden got off Malcolm. He walked catiously over to the girl, wary of the dogs. If he made a wrong move they could attack. He knelt down next to the girl and checked her breathing and heart beat. She was alive but she had a concussion and he thought he felt one of her ribs had broken.
Malcolm let out a taxi cab whistle that would've caught the attention of every cabbie in the city. Guido flew into the clearing but was startled by the dogs who began barking and trying to bite him. It took Malcolm five minutes to calm the dogs down and get them to lay down he then gingerly picked up the girl and noticed a tattoo of a sword crossed with a torch, the letters SPQR and four lines.
He leaned her up against Guido's neck and mounted Guido behind her. The dogs ran around Guido trying to jump hitch a ride. Malcolm swatted them down before Guido desided to kick them.
"Guys she's in good hands. I promise I will make her feel better. You can try to follow us to Long Island." Malcolm said trying to calm them. The dogs began whimpering but stopped trying to jump on Guido.
Malcolm told Guido to take them back to camp while he hung onto the girl and kept them from plummeting out of the sky. He had to constanly readjust himself so that he wouldn't injured the girl any further. He looked down at her and thought that she was kind of cute when she wasn't holding him at spear point. He quickly shook that thought from his head. This girl was the enemy once they got back to camp he'd have her wounds treated then go through the long drawn out process of interrogating her for information.
Within minutes Malcolm could see Camp Half-Blood and he steered Guido to the Big House. Chiron was sitting in his wheelchair on the front porch teaching a couple campers how to play pinochle. He spotted Malcolm with the girl and quickly wheeled himself to the edge of the porch.
"Malcolm what happened? Who is this?" He asked, his voice full of concern. Malcolm filled him in on the events that happened in Central Park. He carrried the girl into the infermury where Will Solace was busy putting a large bandage on Harley's arm. He saw them walk in and quickly kicked Harley out saying something about not working with chainsaws.
He had Malcolm place the girl on an empty bed and ran to get some supplise. Malcolm sat by her bed and looked at her. For some reason she looked familiar but he knew he had never met her before in his life. Will came back with a bottle of nectar and a large roll of gause. He poured some nectar into her mouth and began humming something Malcolm guessed a hymn. The color began to return to the girl's face and she began breathing deeply.
Two of Will's sisters entered and chased them out so they could bandage her chest. The two walked out to the porch and looked out over the camp.
"So how'd you find that one?" Will asked a coy smile playing across his lips. Malcolm grabbed a couple of sodas from the cooler sitting next to the card table and handed one to Will.
"It was completely by accident. I had dropped down in Central Park to water Guido when I heard the fighting going on. I saw her standing there fighting a cyclops like he was no threat to her. The way she stabbed him and then brushed the hair from her face..." His voiced trailed off.
"Hmm," Will said taking a drink from his soda. "Sounds to me like some body's been shot by Eros."
Malcolm felt his face flush red but before he could retort he heard wild barking near the Pine Tree. Malcolm and Will looked over and saw Peleus raise his head and shoot flames at the sound. They could see two sleek shapes run away from the flames and around the hill.
"Aw crap," Malcolm said remembering the girl's overly protective guard dogs. "Be right back."
He rushed over to the pine tree and managed to distract Peleus with a large "dragon treat". He then turned to the dogs who were barking like crazy. The inviable force field surrounding the camp was keeping them out.
"Heel!" He shouted and the dogs managed to calm down a little. "You two are welcome to come into the camp to see your owner."
The dogs caustionsly stepped across the border of the camp then sprinted for the Big House. Malcolm raced after them and when he made it to the Big House he was out of breath. Will's sisters had just finished bandaging the girl when the dogs arrived. They ran out of the room when the dogs snarled at them. The dogs stood next to her bed with their front paws resting near her arms. The girl began to stir and the dogs licked her face.
"Argentum, Aurum enough." She said quietly. Suddenly her eyes snapped open and she sat up in her bed. She grabbed her chest wincing in pain.
"Easy, easy," Malcolm said helping her lay back down. "You were hit pretty hard, you're still injured."
The girl steadied her breathing. Malcolm handed her a glass of Nectar and she took the drink cautiously.
"Where am I?" She asked looking around the room.
"You're at Camp Half-Blood." Malcolm said. The girl looked like she had been tazzed. She tried to get out of the bed but she grabbed her chest again.
"See?" Malcolm said helping her lay down. "Look I now you're Roman, and you probably hate my guts even though you just met me, but you are in no condition yet to get up and move. You are safe here."
The girl looked at him and for a second her eyes seemed to soften.
"What is your name?" Malcolm finally asked. His curiosity had finally gotten the better of him. The girl bit her bottom lip. Aurum sat next to Malcolm while Argentum nuzzled up to her.
"Why haven't they destroyed you?" She asked. Dodging the question. "They tried to." Malcolm chuckled. He told her what had happened after the cyclops knocked her out. Her hand drifted up to her head and rubbed the slight bump that was bandaged up.
"My name's Malcolm son of Athena and Head Councilor of Cabin Six." Malcolm continued. The girl's eyes widened even further with surprise.
"Ther are more of you!?" She exclaimed. Malcolm was really starting to get confused, this girl was starting to act a little too crazy for his liking.
"What do you mean?" Malcolm asked. The girl was about to say something but then decided against it.
"You wanted to know my name?" She finally responded.
Malcolm took a breath. "Yes, that would be nice to know."
The girl took a few seconds. "My name is Reyna, daughter of Bellona, Praetor of the Twelfth Legion."
Malcolm had to grab the bed frame to keep himslf from falling over. This girl was the Reyna!? Jason's old girlfriend? Jason had told stories about Reyna and Malcolm had always wanted to meet her.
"What were you doing alone in Central Park?" Malcolm asked after a few minutes of akward silence.
"I needed to get away from the other Roman's. It's been so stressful I needed to step out for a moment. And what better place to take in the sites than New York City." She said smiling. Malcolm chuckled slightly.
"So you took a trip through Central Park saw a cyclops and thought you could blow off some steam?" Malcolm asked.
Reyna nodded her head and they both started laughing.