I hadn't noticed the wreck until Adam brought us deeper inside New Rome. After dropping off our weapons with the angry statue at the main gate; we came across the ashes of buildings as the destruction on the back-half of the city. Rubble and pieces of wood cluttered the streets as people tried to sweep away the wreckage. At the head of the cleaning crew was a man with sandy blonde hair and electric blue eyes. This we quickly learned was Adam and Brynna's father, Jason Grace.Alongside him was his wife Piper, and the Praetor's Reyna and Frank. Reyna had been in charge for years, but she didn't look a day over twenty. Frank Zhang was a building of a man, he towered over the rest of the people by a good three feet. His wife Hazel was small and petite but very fairly toned and muscular. They all looked tired and worn, but continued to work on repairing their city. The city itself looked beat and worn, as if the people's emotions were reflected upon the its walls.
"Dad!" Brynna called to her father.
The blonde man, Jason, stood and shielded his eyes from the sun, as his daughter ran towards him. He threw his broom down causing his friends to look up, his wife looked up and ran towards her daughter and husband. At a closer glance I noticed the similarities of the Graces. Adam had blonde windswept hair like his dad, but warm brown eyes like his mom. Brynna, well you know were Brynna get's her looks from. As the little family embraced, I began to remember why we had run over here. I looked around for my family amongst the people cleaning, but they weren't here.
"Excuse me, Mr. Grace, where is my family?" I asked rather nervously.
"Penelope welcome, I wish we were meeting under better circumstances. Please, come with me." her father said.
Brynna, Adam and Konnor stayed back, while Jason, Mrs. Grace, the Zhang's, and Reyna led me to a grand pavilion. They seated me next to these statues of metal looking dogs, and Reyna sat on the couch across from me, while the others sat in various chairs. I took a long look at Reyna and noticed she had lines around her eyes and lips. Like she's smiled or scowled too much. Her long dark hair had the slightest traces of gray. But she carried herself with such grace, it seemed impossible she could be my dad's age.
"You look so much like your father." she began.
"Thank you, I get that a lot." I said minding my manners.
"Penelope, you have traveled far for your family, and suffered so much." Reyna said her voice cracking.
"They aren't here are they." I said more in a statement than a question. There was something telling me, this woman did not break down easily, she was a warrior. I looked to the other adults their faces told me something must've have happened before I'd gotten here.
"No, not exactly." Piper said stepping in. Her messy hair and make-up free face, I would have never guessed she was a daughter of Aphrodite, though there was that grin Brynna got when she used charmspeak.
"Your siblings are here, your parents, are not."
'Well, where are they?" I asked.
"We don't know." she answered.
"What do you mean you don't know?" I said my voice rising.
"Please, be calm, this is stressful for all of us, just stay seated." her voice became very soft.
"No! Do not use charm speak! You don't know what I've been through, I want no tricks, someone better tell me what's going on or I'm out of here back to Brooklyn."
I didn't mean it but they thought I did. Everyone was quiet. Hazel Zhang was the first to speak.
"Penelope, we were attacked three days ago, by the Unknowns. They are being created by someone we do not know but controlled by someone we do know."
"I don't understand." I said, "Isn't the creator and the controller the same person?"
"No. Not exactly." Frank said sadly.
"Penelope," Reyna said.
I turned to her, as she knelt by my chair.
"Your parents were taken by a vengeful goddess, one we all had forgotten. Her curse still lives on, as we do. I feat the gods had not kept their promise as well as a certain individual."
At the last words, Reyna cast a grave look upon the group of old friends, all who now hung their heads low.
At this point all I gathered was my parent were taken by an angry goddess who know one seemed to know about, my brother and sister were gravely injured and the prophecy-well part of it was a lie. "Is there anything else I need to know?" I asked, my eyes burning from the tears that threatened to escape.
"There is one thing." Jason said.
We all turned to look at him.
"The Unkowns, are demigod's created to look like the opposites of our children. They have evil powers, instead of godly ones."
"So what your saying is-"
"They're children...our children," Piper said tears forming.
Hazel stood next to her friend and stared at me her eyes were angry." Exactly, we can't hurt them, they look like our children. An Unknown Maria, and Unknown Adam and Brynna."
"You friends at Camp Halfblood, Unknowns look like them too." said Reyna. "An Unknown Konnor, Athena, Frederick-"
"An Unknown Penelope.." I finished for her.
Now I knew why I had that dream so before we left, it wasn't a nightmare it was a warning. Rachel's prophecy rang in my ears.
"The one creating, these things, is planning a genocide!" I gasped.
I turned to Reyna and explained my whole story about not knowing my fate, or my heritage, all the secrets, the prophecy Rachel gave me, my training, my meeting with Poseidon, and my dream, everything!
She turned away when I finished and looked to Jason.
"Take her to see her siblings then rest. Tomorrow we have much to discuss. Enough talk for now."
I didn't know what that woman was thinking, but I followed Jason to the small hospital, and I couldn't believe I was so happy to see my siblings, it didn't bother me when the first word's out of Athena's big mouth were,
"What in all Olympus has taken you so long?!"