Chapter 1

I didn't understand this. I threw down my pencil, cursing.
As my classmates stared at me, I realized I had said something really bad. Great, I thought, the principal again.
"What did you just say?" Patty asked.
"Um..." I mumbled, trailing off. "Nothing."
"It sounded like another language," Vance pushed. Of course. Patty's boyfriend.
I blinked.
"It was Greek," Lena said. "I know Greek. That was pretty offensive, Annie."
I looked around, feeling my face harden. "So what?" I asked.
Lena stared at me. I shook my head and turned back to Algebra, staring at the polynomial again, trying to remember how to do it.
"Multiply," I murmured, "No. Add this and this, then- no."
"Annie Morin," a voice whispered, "ask to go to the bathroom."
I looked up, and watched as Nico walked away from me.
Colin was sitting across the isle, nodding at me. "Do it," he mouthed. "I need to talk."
I quickly nodded and walked up to Mrs. Feldman's desk. "Can I go to the bathroom?" I asked.
She nodded, and handed the other pass to Colin, who had already walked up.
We left the room together.
"Okay," Colin said, "we can't talk for long."
"Duh," I muttered.
"But..." Colin began, "it's almost the end of 8th grade. And we're going to high school soon."
I nodded. I knew very well how close we were, how we would be going to different schools. I remembered Field Day of the year before, and I knew something related to that was about to happen.
"I," Colin began, "know what you are."
I blinked. "What?"
"You can't focus, you have dyslexia, and you just cursed in Greek. Ancient Greek," he added. "You said 'Curse the Gods'."
I blinked. "What?"
"You're a demigod, Annie," Colin told me. "And I'm one too."

Chapter 2

I was now completely unable to focus on the polynomial, so I pretended to write and scratch things out while I thought about what Colin had told me.
Demigods, superhumans, really, were the sons and daughters of the Olympian gods, living on Olympus.
Did you know Olympus was in New York City? I didn't.
Colin told me that, now, monsters would attack me. After the final exam, and school ended, I was to follow him home.
I looked up to see Mrs. Feldman standing over me. "What are you doing?" she hissed. "You're supposed to be doing this!" she said, tapping the exam.
I stared at her. I didn't feel like this, I had too many things on my mind. I stood, said I was finished, and left the room.
Colin stared at me in despair as I left.
"Hey, Greek Girl," I heard Lena say as I made it to the hall. "You're finished? You're so slow."
"Just because I'm slow doesn't mean you're smart," I muttered.
Lena's eyes flashed. "You smell scared," she whispered.
"How do I smell scared?" I asked, confused.
Then I realized- Lena must be a monster.
I slammed myself against the wall, calling for help in Greek. I think it was Greek.
Lena transformed into something strange. A girl on the top half, with one metal leg and a hairy one.
I laughed. "Seriously?" I asked. "That's it?"
Lena hissed. Her fangs showed.
"I guess not," I muttered, and I began to call for help again.
Suddenly Colin burst out of the room. "I finished as fast as I could," he puffed. "W- oh." He had seen Lena.
"I knew you were a monster," Colin yelled. He took something out of his pocket. Something long and shiny, and there was no way it could of fit into his pocket.
I realized it was a sword.
Colin stabbed Lena in the stomach. She yelled and began to... disintegrate. And soon there was only a pile of ashes on the floor.
"There goes my scholarship," Colin muttered. "Mrs. Feldman, I turned a student into ashes," he said in a high-pitched voice, imitating what he would say.
I laughed. "Isn't that what we do?"
Colin grinned, nodded, and picked up his fallen sword. "We might as well leave now."
I nodded.
And together, we walked out of the school.
Hand in hand.

Chapter 3

I was on a bus. It was a big, comfy bus. There were T.V.s and speakers, and headphones.
There were two seats in the row, and Colin was sitting in the isle.
I liked the window seat.
"What do you think, then?" Colin asked me. "About all this?"
"It makes it really hard to concentrate on polynomials," I joked.
Colin laughed. "Very funny."
"I do have a question," I said. "How did the sword fit in your pocket?"
"Magic," Colin whispered. "You'll see more when we get to Camp Half-Blood."
Colin had told me all about it while he bought our tickets. It was a camp for kids like me, people who had powers. All the kids there were children of the gods, and some of them didn't know who their Olympian parent was.
I hoped I found out soon.
"What is my power?" I asked.
"You'll have powers," Colin said. "That's plural. And it depends on who your parent is. My father is Apollo."
"The God of poetry and of the sun," I sang, remembering my lessons from sixth grade.
"That's right," Colin said.
"What can you do?" I asked.
"I can curse others into only speaking in rhyme. It's actually pretty funny," he added, laughing.
I blinked. "Anything related to the sun?" I asked.
Colin grinned. "I can manipulate light," he said.
I grinned back. "Awesome!"
I personally hoped that I wasn't Apollo's daughter, but my mom was the only family member I knew that was alive. So, Apollo was a possibility.
"Who are the male gods, again?" I asked Colin.
"Zeus, Poseidon, Hermes, Apollo, Ares, Dionysus, and Hades," Colin replied. "Are those your possibilities?"
I nodded.
"Well, let's hope it's not Apollo," Colin said. I knew that he was thinking the same thing I was- We couldn't date.
Suddenly the bus stopped.
"Here we are," the bus driver called to us. "Not many people come here, it's strange, you know?"
Colin smiled, nodded, paid him, and we stepped off the bus.
Into my new life as a demigod.

Chapter 4

I felt a change inside me as we reached the top of the hill. I felt safer, more protected. But Colin was at my side. He was holding my hand.
I looked around. There was a camper in an orange T-shirt that said Camp Half-blood. They were climbing a climbing wall. As I watched, lava poured down the side.
I felt Colin squeeze my hand in excitement as he turned to see where I was looking. "The climbing wall's easy," he said.
I looked at him.
"Well, should we go find Chiron?" Colin asked.
I nodded slowly and began to walk down the hill to a building. "The Big House," Colin explained.
A half-man, half-goat came up to us. "Hi," he said. "I'm Grover. A satyr," he added, looking at me.
Grover looked young, but he also looked like he had wisdom.
"Grover!" a man called. "Come on, we have to-"
He stopped, and looked at me and Colin.
"Good job, Colin," he said.
"Thank you, Mr. Jackson," Colin said.
"Call me Percy," Mr. Jackson said. Then he turned to me. "Who are you? Can you see all this?"
"I can," I said. "Or I would be blind."
"I haven't told her everything," Colin mumbled.
"Well, should we go inside?" Percy asked.
I nodded and the other three led me inside to a ping-pong table, where they pulled up chairs and sat around it.
"This is Mr. D," Colin said, pointing at another man. He had purple eyes. "What man has purple eyes?" I asked him.
Mr. D laughed. "I am no man," he said. "I'm Dionysus!"
I felt myself turn red. "Sorry," I murmured.
"And, if you're wondering, I'm not your father," Dionysus added.
I nodded.
"Mr. D was punished and sent here for a time," Colin said. "He was to work with children like us, and teach them how... how to be a demigod, really. But Mr. Jackson-"
"Percy!" he interrupted.
"Yes, Percy. He took over as director and Mr. D helps out when Percy needs him to."
"Where's Chiron?" I asked.
"Right there," Colin said, pointing to a man in a wheelchair.
I blinked. "Did he lose his horse half?"
The man laughed. "No, I like to stay in the wheelchair, for first impressions."
"Okay," I said.
As Colin squeezed my hand again, I was sure that nothing could go wrong, however strange they were.

Chapter 5

"Come on, he isn't so bad!" Colin said, tugging my hand. "He's just a little violent."
"A little?" I asked, astonished. "He swung a sword at me!"
"He didn't swing it at you, he was testing the balance," Colin said.
"Oh," I said, blinking. "Fine, I'll go in, but you have to stay between us."
Colin sighed. "Fine, if that's the only way you'll go in."
He led me inside the Hephaestus cabin, where a boy was hammering a sword blade.
"Hi," the boy said. "Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you."
"It's okay, Adonis," I replied.
"How do you know my name?" Adonis demanded, picking up another sword.
I stepped back. "Colin told me," I said.
"Oh," Adonis said, lowering the sword. "Do you like the handle of this one?" he asked.
"Um," I began, "why?"
"I'm making it for my girlfriend, and she likes pretty things. So I'm making a pretty sword."
I blinked. "Yeah, it's cool."
Adonis blushed. "Thank you. You're a girl. If a sword could do anything, what would it do?"
"Annie doesn't want to be drawn into your girlfriend's gift, Adonis," Colin said quickly, before I could answer that it would cut my hair perfectly, and style it.
Adoniss looked slightly offended.
"Sorry," Colin said quickly, "but we came here so she could get her own sword."
"Isn't that Cal's job, then?" Adonis asked.
"He's away for a short time," Colin explained.
"Oh," Adonis said. "Okay, here, try this one." He handed me a sword.
I swiped it though the air. I didn't feel any connection to it. "What is it supposed to feel like?"
"An extension of your arm," Adonis replied.
I swung it again. "Can I try another one?"
Adonis handed me the second one.
I grasped it in my hand, and it felt natural. Raising it, I swung it through the air, and it was perfect."
I couldn't help but gasp as I finished my cut. "Is it supposed to feel light?"
"I enchanted it," Adonis explained.
"Does it have a name?" I asked.
Adonis shook his head, smiling as he did.
"Okay, then," I murmured. "I'll think about it."
"No," Adonis demanded. "You have to name it before you leave."
I blinked. "Fine," I snarled.
I came up with an idea. "Um, how about..."
"Deadbringer," a voice suddenly boomed. "That is the sword's name and that is what it will stay as."
Adonis gasped and fell on the floor. Colin backed away from me.
"Deadbringer?" I asked. "I like it!"
Colin stared at me. "Okay, let's go. We have to put you in the Hermes cabin."
I nodded, and I waved goodbye to Colin as I walked away from Adonis.

Chapter 6

Stepping into the Hermes cabin, I saw that there were a lot of kids there, waiting to be claimed.
I couldn't stop shaking without Colin to protect me. I was used to him by my side, and I really didn't want it to stop.
Sometimes love was overwhelming.
The kids looked up when I entered, and all of them sighed. "Another one?" one asked.
"Be quiet, Luke," an older kid said loudly. Standing up, he added to me, "Hi, I'm Chance. I actually am a son of Hermes, so I'm here a lot."
I grinned. "So I'm here for a while, huh?"
Chance scowled. "The Gods promised on the River Styx that this wouldn't happen again, but it did anyway."
One kid yelled, "Hey! Adonis must've made that sword."
I told him, "I just got it. I'm new here."
"What do you call it?" he asked.
I shuddered, suddenly realizing what the name really was. "Deadbringer."
Chance glanced at the sword. Then he looked back at me. "Well, there's one more spot, and hopefully we won't find any more demigods."
He directed me over to a corner, saying that there was a rumor that Percy Jackson had slept here. There was also a rumor that Kronos was once a camper here.
I didn't believe a word.
"Well," Chance said, looking at me, "I'll go steal you some stuff, and some clothes, and... there's Capture the Flag tonight."
I nodded, and wondered what it was like.

I stood in my armor, ready to fight. I was a defender, and hopefully I wouldn't die on the job.
I heard footsteps behind me, and I whirled around.
It was Colin.
"Hi," he whispered.
"Hi," I whispered back.
"Um, can we talk?" Colin asked.
"Not now, what if-"
"I mean, after the game. After we win," he added.
I smiled. "Sure."
He walked away from me just as I heard a heavy footstep.
I steadied Deathbringer, hoping that it would be my team with the flag.
It wasn't. It was a kid, with a scowl on his face. He had a girl next to him, and they were both fully dressed.
"I told Veronica that it was nice here, she wanted to-" the boy began.
"I don't care," I interrupted. "Go somewhere else."
"But she wanted to make out here!" the boy shouted. He let go of Veronica's hand and lifted a sword, which I hadn't noticed in the other hand.
"Come on," I whispered. "I can take you."
The boy attacked, yelling.
I blocked with Deathbringer, and I stamped the ground in an attempt to get a hold on the ground, stable legs.
I suddenly felt exhausted. My sword was light, but I was drained of all power.
I collapsed.
"Now, let's cut off her head, shall we?" the boy asked himself.
Suddenly, he was thrown aside by... I couldn't tell, but it looked like three skeletons. In my last moments before I fainted, I looked up, and saw a whole army coming out of the ground, ready to fight, and Veronica's boyfriend desperately trying to fend them off.
And then everything went black.

Chapter 7

The first thing I saw when I woke up was a skull's head floating above my own.
I sat up instantly, but I had to lay back down almost as quickly.
Colin appeared, his face white. "You're okay," he breathed.
I nodded, exhausted.
Colin must of seen something on my face, because he asked, "What's wrong?"
"When I woke up," I began, "I saw a skull's head."
"I'll get it out," Colin promised. "Where is it?"
"Gone," I replied. When Colin looked surprised, I said, "You didn't give me a chance to tell you that the skull was above my head."
Colin gasped and sat down. "You're… a child of Hades!" he announced, his face ghostly pale. "Oh, gods, Hades will-"
"Even the gods themselves are training their children to not like me." A man stepped out of the shadows. "Just because I'm Lord of the Dead."
"Hello, father," I said.

After Dionysus had come in and discovered Hades, he made us tea out of thin air and left swiftly.
"Why tea?" I asked.
Hades smiled. "Annie. I came here to see if you were okay."
"I'm fine," I said, "no need to fuss over me."
Hades's eyes flared. Colin fell out of his chair in fear and I slammed against the wall.
But Hades was laughing. "I love doing that!" he said.
Colin glared at him, dusting off his pants.
Hades looked at me once again. "Freckles," he murmured. "Brown hair, slight acne..."
"Dad!" I protested.
"What?" Hades asked. He ignored my rude reply and stared at me more, taking in my shape and size. "Good fighter," he murmured. "Better-looking then Nico, anyway."
Colin's eyes flared. "You can't judge someone on their looks!"
"I don't care," Hades said.
"Don't push it," I murmured to him. "It doesn't matter, he does what he does."
Hades looked appreciative of me. "The first kid I've had who supported me during the first five minutes."
I wondered if I should tell him about my very limited knowledge about the Greek gods.
Colin glared at me, and I felt a surge of anger. "Can I talk to you?" I demanded.
Colin blinked.
"Hades," I began, "Dionysus, Chiron and Percy are out there playing poker," I informed him. "Why don't you join them?"
Hades nodded his head, and vanished in a puff of smoke.
A skull was left behind.

Chapter 8

"What do you want?" Colin asked.
"You seem to be judging my own father," I said. "You haven't even met him."
"I have," Colin said.
"When?" I demanded.
"When I tried to get my sister back," Colin said hoarsely.

As Colin finished his tale, I was angry. Hades had no right to do that!
Suddenly the Lord of the Dead burst in to the room. "You had no right to tell that story!" he boomed.
Colin stood his ground. "She had to know, you're her father, you idiot!"
I stood my ground, clenching my fists.
"You need to wipe her memory!" Hades snarled.
"Then she'll forget the story," Colin snarled. "I don't want her to."
Hades started to glow.
Colin gasped, turned me around, and I couldn't see what happened next.
I somehow knew not to look, but suddenly the light stopped, and I turned back around.
Percy was there, breathless. Dionysus waited in the doorway.
"What happened?" Percy asked.
"Hades... he just came. And joined in," Dionysus said. "That's all we saw. Then all of a sudden he disappeared."
I sighed. "When I awoke, I saw something above my head."
Percy looked pained. "Hades... is your father?"
I nodded.
Colin held my hand tightly. "I don't care. She hasn't changed, she just knows more. And she'll have a cabin all to herself."
Percy sighed. "Get going, then."
Colin led me out of the room. I stood next to him for a moment, just... outside, and then Colin broke the silence.
"Are we going to go?"
I nodded, and I walked with him to the cabins.
He held my hand the entire way. I could feel him shaking, and I felt scared for him.
As we neared the cabin, Colin pressed closer to me. I reached out, and touched the door handle.
Only to be pulled back by him.
As Colin's lips pressed against mine, I let go of all thoughts and set myself free.
For now.

Chapter 9

The Hades cabin was kind of cool. It was made of solid black marble, and the steps were made of skulls.
Inside, there weren't any beds, but there was a set of stairs.
The sounds echoed as I went down them.
I entered a large room, which had beds in it. It seemed very small.
The lights were green, and I noticed these steps were made out of skulls, too.
I chose a bed, which turned out to be extremely comfortable. I sighed as I laid down.
I began to think about me and Colin... and the kiss...
I could still feel his lips pressing against mine, guiding me through the seconds that made it last. I could still feel his hands pulling me towards him, one cupped under my chin and the other one on my back, moving slowly downwards...
I remembered the shout of "Oh, gods, Colin, you can't do it in private?" by none other than Percy himself, who I had heard kissed his wife here, and then under water.
I couldn't help remembering as I pulled my lips from Colin's, and the desperation in his eyes as I turned away...

I woke with a snort. I had fallen asleep thinking about him, dreaming about-
"Anyone here?" a voice called.
I sat up, hearing the voice coming from upstairs.
"Hey," the voice called again. "I heard you're my half-sister."
I sat up and trudged up the stairs. There stood a boy no older than 9.
"Why are you so young?" I asked.
"Why are you so old?" he shot back, grinning. "I'm Minos."
I blinked. "Hi, Minos."
"I didn't know I would be sharing a cabin with a girl," Minos said, looking around.
"We're siblings-"
"Half-siblings," Minos interrupted.
"Yeah, whatever, we're siblings now," I pointed out. "Hades-"
"Minos, son," a man said.
"Hi," Minos said, turning, ignoring my angry groan.
"I am Hades," the Lord of the Dead said, holding out his arms. "And this cabin is awesome!"
"We didn't build it," I mumbled. "And we didn't ask-"
"Be quiet, Annie. I am talking to Minos. I think it would be best for you if you went-"
"Yeah, yeah, away," I mumbled. "I'm going."
I threw on some clothes, which had somehow managed to find their way here, and went back upstairs.
Hades and Minos were nowhere to be found.

Chapter 10

I raced out of the cabin and to the Apollo cabin, where I found Colin sleeping.
"Colin!" I shouted. "Wake up!"
He looked up and saw me standing on the steps. He grinned and stepped out of the bed, and crossed to me...
I couldn't kiss him again. Or, he couldn't kiss me.
"I have a half-brother," I began.
"How old?" Colin demanded.
"He looks about nine," I said.
"Okay," Colin said, relaxing.
"Hades came again, and he talked to him. I left and when I came back, he was-"
"Gone?" Colin asked.
I nodded, and Colin leaned in to kiss me, but I put my hand to my lips. "No."
"What should we do?" Colin asked, looking slightly hurt.
"Ask for a quest," I said curtly. "We have to get him back."
Colin's eyes hardened. "No, Dionysus won't let us go."
"How do you know?" I asked.
"I- I just do," Colin mumbled, caught off guard.
"Let's go, then." I turned to leave, but Colin called me back. "Wait."
"What?" I asked, turning back.
"You don't know how to fight," Colin said.
I gasped and nodded. "You're right..."
"Then you should-"
"What about Minos? He's my half-brother!"
"You can't go barging into Hades's realm without knowing how to fight," Colin reminded me. "He has all of the dead there."
I sighed. "And you can't train me?"
Colin shook his head. "You use a sword. I use a bow and arrow."
I sighed. "So... who can I train with, then?"
"Nobody in my cabin uses a sword," Colin began, "but Adonis is really, really good at making swords. And using them," he added.
"Or I could train you," Percy said, behind me. "Just don't let me touch water," he added, grinning.
I hadn't known he was there, but he was one of the best swordsman in the history of Camp Half-blood.
He would have to do.

Chapter 11

Percy guided me to an arena, where he handed me a chest plate. "I'll be-"
"I think I'll be, actually," a voice behind me said. "Sorry, Percy, but it's a special assignment."
Percy clenched his fists. "We meet again."
I turned to see a man with black punk clothes on.
"I'll be leaving now," I said quickly.
I left the arena, and I hadn't even lifted my sword.

"Annie," Colin whispered.
"Colin, you're not allowed in here," I hissed.
He silenced me by pushing his lips against mine.
I pulled away. "Dude!" I protested.
It was the middle of the night. I was laying underneath the covers, and sweating.
"I just wanted to say…" Colin sighed. "I love you, Annie."
"You have to go!" I hissed. "Please, go..."
Colin nodded silently and swiftly went up the stairs.
And suddenly, there was Hades.
"What do you want?" I snarled.
"He only came here because Minos wasn't," Hades sneered.
That brought me back. Quickly.
"I hate you!" I screamed. "Dad, he was my brother!"
Hades tensed. "You don't know what you're talking about-"
"I do. You kidnapped Minos, and I don't care if you're a God, it's wrong."
Hades's eyes flamed. "You're dead."
"Nope," I said. "Look, I'm still alive!"
Hades gave a scream of defeat and vanished.
And I just smiled.

Chapter 12

"Annie!" I heard Colin call. "Who was that?"
"Dad," I called back. "I'll be right up, I need to find a shirt..."
I quickly threw on the first bright orange shirt I saw and left the cabin, to see Colin sitting on the front steps.
"I need to talk to you," he said quietly. "Can we go to the woods?"
I remembered Veronica and her boyfriend. "I'm not necessarily sure about there..." I began hesitantly.
"There's no other private spot!"
"The tree nymphs," I told him. "And they can talk."
"We have to find somewhere," he sighed.
"I wish we were mortal!" I cried, punching the air.
"Unfortunately, that's not how life works." Colin stood and put his hands in mine. "Please, Annie."
"I don't think there's anyone in the arena," I said hesitantly. "We could sit in a couple of seats."
"Good idea," Colin said hoarsely.
I wondered what he had to say.

Colin sat, and patted the seat behind me. We had a great view of the arena.
"What?" I murmured.
"I just feel..." Colin trailed off.
"You feel..." I prompted.
"I feel really uncomfortable about last night," he said, looking at me directly.
I sighed. "What happens, happens. There is nothing you can do about it."
"Except go back in time," Colin sighed. "I wish I was Kronos."
I nodded and turned away.
"Annie..." Colin whispered. "I don't know..."
I kissed him, hard. "Don't worry," I whispered. "If I get pregnant, I'll get an abortion. There will be no baby."
He kissed me back. "That's not it," he murmured. "I would love a baby."
"I can't handle it," I replied.
"But I could," Colin insisted, pulling away, breaking our heaven. "You could look for Minos, I could take care of it."
"Percy wouldn't allow it!" I snarled. "And what Apollo sibling would want a baby in the cabin?"
Colin sighed. "I know."
"I know better, obviously."
He kissed me, this time in-mouth.
And I could do was push him away, stand up, and walk out of the arena.

Chapter 13

Minos, I thought. It was a subconscious thought, but it quickly came to the front of my mind.
I shuddered. What was-
Hades appeared next to me. "Children of Hades can never have kids," he told me. "That's just the way it is. You don't stand for life, you stand for death."
I stared in astonishment. "I can never have a baby?" I squeaked.
"It's not like you want to," Hades scoffed.
"I do," I yelled. "Why do you have to be my father?"
Hades looked astonished. "I just- I just wanted to-"
"Couldn't I have lived without that?" I asked.
Hades's eyes turned to fire. "Don't you dare, mortal-"
"Mortal?" I asked.
"I was talking to her," Hades said, pointing to someone behind me.
I turned and saw a girl. Red hair, freckles. Pale skin.
"Who are you?" I asked quietly.
"I'm you," the girl whispered. "If Hades wasn't your father."
I stared at the girl that would of been me. "I would like to be you," I murmured.
"If mortals made you, you would have a horrible secret," the girl rasped. "Remember that, Annie."
"Okay..." I murmured. "Annie."
"My name is Jackie," she yelled. And then she left the bathroom.
Hades stared at me. "Jackie! You've ruined everything," he called after her.
I stared at him for a long, long time, picked up my pregnancy tests, and left the room.
I knew exactly where I was going.

I saw her. "Jackie!" I screamed. "Please, wait..."
She turned. "What?"
"What would my secret be?" I asked quietly.
"Your secret would be everything," Jackie told me.
"What?" I asked, astonished. "For me, you sure don't seem like-"
"I've got to go," she whispered.
For a long time, I sat and pondered. What did she mean?
And then I knew.
If Hades hadn't been my father, I would of been the Oracle.

Chapter 14

"Hit the ground with it," my instructor suggested.
I did.
"Woah!" I screamed. A break had been made in the earth.
"You didn't expect that?" Nico asked.
"No," I mumbled.
Nico laughed. "Now, I'll teach you with a real sword. You need one," he added.
"I've asked Adonis. He'll do it," Nico told me. "In the meantime, we'll have to wait to continue these lessons."
I sighed. "But- Minos..."
"He's okay," Nico soothed. "Hades is just brainwashing him against you."
"Is he alive?" I demanded.
"Of course," Nico murmured.
"How do you get to the Underworld?" I asked. I wanted to see for myself what was going on.
"Hades will catch you," Nico warned. "He knows you're here. I don't stay here because of..."
"Because of what?" I asked quietly.
"He bullies me, too," Nico said quietly. "I'm often not here, and not usually in the Underworld. I've made a lot of sacrifices for you, you know."
"Thanks," I stammered. "I've got to go," I said quickly.
Nico looked confused as I left the arena, only to be cornered by Colin.
"What?" I asked.
"Are you...?" Colin asked quietly.
I knew what he was talking about. "No. I never will be."
"You don't want to-?"
"It's not you, it's me," I sighed. "Children of Hades can never be pregnant. Hades is the only one that can have a child."
Colin's eyes widened.
"He told me that I represent death. And becoming pregnant is life, apparently."
Colin's eyes brimmed with tears. "But-"
"It's not your fault!" I murmured. "It's just- that's what I am."
"I can't take you for who you are," Colin said quietly. "My lifelong dream is to have a child of my own, and if you're not going to give me that..."
"No," I whispered.
"We're done!" he screamed suddenly. "I don't ever want to be seen with you again."
And he was gone.

Chapter 15

I slammed my sword into the ground, screaming, "No!"
Then I sat down and cried.
I didn't care if I was where anyone could find me. I didn't care about anything...
Nothing would ever be right.

Annie, you hate him now, a voice said.
"He's so mean," I replied.
If he's so mean, why are you crying? If you hate him, he isn't worth it, the voice replied.
There was no longer blackness. I was standing in front of a house, with no weapons at all. The house looked dirty and disgusting, and there was no grass. There was red all over the yard. I hoped it was spray paint.
If you had a baby, this is what life would be like. If Colin had loved you... the voice whispered. I could tell that it was a woman, a girl, but it sounded nothing like me at all.
The door of the house burst open and a little boy flew out. "Ha! You can't catch me!"
Another boy flew out, holding a long, pointy, stick. "Yes I can!" he yelled back.
Oh no, I thought. They could get hurt!
A young woman burst through the door. Me. "You two get back in here!" the older me screamed. "Do I need to call the cops again?"
The boys stopped instantly. "I'm sorry," they yelled at the same time. Then they looked at each other and began to roll over and over... screaming... clawing... pain...
The first boy was dead.
"Good," the older me praised. "Colin needs to knock me up again."
The only boy looked astonished. "Can I watch this time?"
"You can participate," the older me replied. Then she looked straight at me. "What are you looking at?"
"W-what?" I sputtered.
"Do you want to participate, too?" the older me asked kindly. "Come in..."
"That's incest!" I screamed. "I'm not doing it with my son."
"Oh, yes you will," the older me snarled. "Come in-"
There was blackness once more. There was only a floating, glowing thing.
Don't you see?
It was talking directly into my head. "See what?" I asked nervously.
If Colin loved you, this is what you would turn out to be.
I shook my head. "No."
"No!" I screamed. "No!"
I want to show you one other thing... the voice whispered.
Another scene. A really nice looking house. Almost a mansion.
A young boy ran out of the house. "Ha, you can't catch me, Jack!"
"Oh, yes I will!" another, older, boy, apparently named Jack, ran out, too.
Jack ran faster then the younger boy. "Tag!" Jack yelled.
"Aww, no fair!" the young boy protested. "You're fast."
"Boys, it's time for dinner." A man came out.
I gasped. "Jacob!" I said out loud. Jacob, a boy who liked me when I was still in school. I wondered how he was doing now.
He obviously didn't see me. "Jason! Now!" he yelled at the younger boy.
Another scene, the same family.
Jason and Jack squirmed in their seats, Jacob sat calmly and expectantly.
A young, pretty woman came in. "The Keppens prepared this for us. I added a couple of things, since it didn't look very appetizing..."
Jacob laughed, the two boys looked confused.
"It looks really good," Jacob praised the woman. "Annie, you're an amazing person."
"When you give me cookies!" Jason yelled.
Jack laughed. "Life isn't like that, little bro."
"Let's eat," Annie said quietly. The older me, I realized with a start.
The family sat, and I smiled. I didn't need Colin.
I didn't need anybody.
No, you don't, the voice agreed.

Chapter 16

I gasped and opened my eyes.
None of that was real, I thought. But somehow it was.
"A-are you okay?" a voice croaked.
I turned to see Nico right behind me.
"You've been laying there for five minutes. You weren't doing anything," he added. "You didn't even breathe."
I inhaled. "Message from the gods."
"About what?"
"About the person I used to love," I mumbled. "Look, Nico, I've got to go."
"Go do what?"
"I've got to go. Save my brother," I told him. "Our half-brother. I hope he still loves me."

"You need a sword and armor," Adonis told me. He shoved a pile of metal towards me. It was a full suit of armor, and on the front was the crest of Camp Half-Blood. On the back was a skeleton.
"Thanks," I said to Adonis. I had come to him at his request.
I am really going to save Minos.

I go to Percy. "I want a quest."
"A quest?" Percy echos.
"A quest, Johnson," Dionysus said. "You should be very familiar with the concept."
Percy glared at the god. Then he turned to me. "For what?"
"Minos," I said.
"Who is Minos?" Dionysus asked me.
Percy nodded his head. "Yes, who is he?"
"He was a camper here!" I squeaked. I couldn't believe their lack of attention.
"He was?" Percy asked. "Oh, well..."
"Hades took him to the Underworld," I say. "He's training him to hate us. I have to save him."
"When was this?" Percy asked.
"Three weeks ago," I said confidently.
"And you didn't come to us earlier?" Dionysus snarled.
"I was training. I had a lot of other things on my mind."
"Go save your brother," Percy suddenly said to me.
"Really?" I gasped. "Thank you, Percy, thank you!"
"I'll show you the closest entrance to the Underworld," Percy told me. "You go in two days."
I nodded. "Yes, sir."
"Do you need companions?" Percy asked me.
I shook my head. "This is something I have to do on my own."
"On your own..." Percy echoed.
"You're really brave, Annie," Dionysus said. "Don't forget that you are a daughter of Hades."

Chapter 17

My tongue was dry. My body was perfectly, completely still.
I was hiding. Watching. Waiting.
I could see Minos. Right there.
He was glaring up at my father- the one and only Lord of the Dead.
Suddenly, Minos changed into a large- a large creature. A dog?
My eyes stretched open and I could see- it was blurry- the roof of my cabin.
Or the roof of the basement, whatever.
"You're so stupid," I muttered to myself. "You actually believed that it was real."
That's when I saw him. Standing on the stairs to go back up to what everyone believed was my cabin.
"I'm sorry..." Colin's voice cracked.
I turned away from him.
"I was just... just- so excited for a child of my own."
I ignored Colin and began to twiddle my thumbs. No way is he apologizing, I thought to myself. He's faking it.
"I've felt bad ever since, Annie. And I love you, and I-"
I cut him off. "If you loved me, you wouldn't have done what you did. Get out of the Hades cabin. I don't want traitors in my midst."
Colin's eyes clouded. I glared at him.
Then he turned around and walked back up the stairs.
"Go," I whispered. "Go back to where you came from."