I explained what Eros had said to me as quickly as if could and during the entire time Percy didn’t stop to breath while eating his food. I stuck with a simple Italian pizza that I shared with Nico.
“So, we have to make friends with a Titan?” asked Thalia in disbelief.
“That what Eros said,” I shrugged it couldn’t be that hard, it not like titans weren’t human-ish.
“Where do you think she might be?” asked Jason.
“Probably on the east side of town near a famous building,” reasoned Nico.
“Why do you think that?” asked Percy, which sounded more like “Mazizah fink fat,” through the spaghetti in his mouth. Kid need to learn some manners. My seventh grade teacher would have stabbed him to death if he saw him, but of course she’d keep her pinkies up the entire time. She was an etiquette freak. In fact, her name was Mrs. Polite, although she wasn’t very nice.
“Sun rises in the east and gods are attracted to famous places or at least it seems to be the case,” I explained for Nico.
“We’ll start there,” said Thalia standing up and brushing the crumbs from Percy off her black skinny jeans.
Jason stood up next to her throwing his bag over his shoulder, “Well we both better get going, the train leaves in a half-an-hour and you guys don’t want to miss it.”
“Thanks for the help back in Cleveland,” said Thalia.
“No problem,” I said as I ripped off the last bit of our paper thin pizza and stuffed it into my mouth, smacking Percy’s hand away from the breadsticks.
“It was really nice meeting you Lea,” said Thalia bowing her head to me. “Bye guys.”
“I hope to see you again soon,” said Jason and I watched as they exited through the large wooden doors and out into the sunlight.
“Are you finished yet?” I asked Percy.
“Just about,” he said as he stuffed one last breadstick into his mouth and signed the check.
We strolled down the street.
“I’m still hungry,” said Percy.
“If you ate anymore you’d deplete the restaurant of all it’s breadsticks,” I said.
“What? They were really good,” he insisted.
When we reached the train station the sky had clouded over and the eeriness of the city began to set in.
“Let’s get out of here,” I said.
The train didn’t have compartments only little booths but they were fairly secluded which was nice. The seats were really uncomfortable like somebody had used cardboard instead of foam to fill them. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was true.
I felt like I needed to get out of there. It was a strange impulsive feeling, I knew danger was coming but there was nothing I could do to stop it. It was a sixth sense, one that I’m so glad I do and wish I didn’t have.
The first half of the ride was slow and quite. I watched in silence as the simple landscape of Indiana and Illinois rolled past. Everything quiet and peaceful, no twinge of excitement, but there was that underlying feeling of dread rising in my stomach. It had been a full day since any run-ins with monsters. I tried to shove the feeling aside.
Percy paced the train and I only saw him every few minutes.
Nico sat across from me staring at me, but every time I looked back at him he’d glance away.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“Nothing. I was just wondering if you felt it too,” he said.
I did not like where this is going. That was a good cliché love story line, one that I would steer clear of.
“Something feels wrong,” he continued.
I sighed in relief, thank the gods he wasn’t talking romantically, that was my Achilles’ heel. Love. Even the thought of it makes me feel weak and sick to my stomach.
“I know, I can feel an attack coming,” I agreed.
“That’s normal, but something about this feeling isn’t. It feels different.”
Then I felt as if someone had hooked my up to an electric charger, the realization shot through my being.
“It’s not a monster,” I gasped.
“Ooooh, good job. If only you figured that out earlier,” said a nasal drawling voice behind me.
A girl about my age stood in the aisle behind me. She had pale skin, with freckles across the bridge of her nose. A smirk played across her face, slightly crooked to the right. Her hair was in two long pigtails and was such a drab black she looked like she was filmed in black and white. Her eyes were gray, she had painted black fingernails, she wore all black too. She could be named “Mrs. Monochromatic of 2012.”
And her brother looked exactly the same.
“Hey there, questers,” she said in the same mocking tone, “My name is Alyssa and I’m here to make sure your trip to Hades will be long and painful.”
She snapped her fingers and swished her hand to the left, the other people in the train car who were just staring at us began to bicker angrily with one another.
“And I am Lyssan, and I’m here to send him,” he glared pointedly at Nico, “back to his father’s kingdom the fastest way possible. Death.”
“Alyssa and Lyssan, that a bit redundant. Don’t you think?” I said. My mind wasn’t functioning properly and took the information in a weird way.
The girl’s cheeks flushed with rage. “Our mother would not take kindly to that offense.”
“Who’s your mom?” I asked stupidly.
“Lyssa the goddess of pure rage and rabies,” she replied.
“I should have guessed. You do look like very angry people.”
She lunged at me, drawing out two skinning knives. I grabbed my necklace and quickly pressed the button. It unfolded into my sword in three quick; Shhlink, shlink, shhlink’s.
The girl growled in anger and dived towards me, I ducked and she flew past.
Before I could get out of the way, the boy shoved me into my seat and drew a sword out on Nico. Nico’s sword met him in return. They went into fierce combat; Lyssan had a lot more energy than Nico and a lot more strength. But Nico was calm and collected and he easily deflected Lyssan’s blows.
While I was busy watching them, I didn’t see Alyssa get back up to her feet. She charged at me. Our blades crossed, she pressed on me and I backed up, down the aisle.
Not only did this girl dress in all black like a ninja assassin, she moved like one too. Quick and stealthy like a snake, she slinked around try to intimidate me with her glare.
All of the sudden she went into hyperactive speed, forcing me to think quickly as I blocked and deflected all of her swings. I had two focus on two blades at once, which was nearly impossible. While I blocked one she sliced her across the cheek with the other, as I deflected one, she cut into my shoulder.
Just after she cut into my upper arm, she made a false move. She lunged forward and I leaned back. She nearly cut off my ear, but missed by a few fractions of a centimeter. But she did hit a mark as she sliced through my ponytail. Her blade cutting clean through the elastic of my hair-band. My only hair-band. My hair fell in a long brunette and pink waterfall down my back. Falling in its usual messy flowing way.
This mad me mad, really mad.
I kicked her in the chest.
She hit the window.
She thudded loudly against the glass.
She was no child of a sky deity but that girl sure did fly, when my foot made contact with her chest.
“Owww!” she wailed, “You-“
She was cut off by the train’s whistle.
She sprinted at me like a raging buffalo. But I had weakened her.
I side-stepped and her blade cut through my right forearm. Right across the eye on my tattoo. The entire tattoo glowed furiously pink and the large group of mortal passengers instantly clasped into a deep sleep. Most of them snored.
Alyssa looked as if I just injected her with Tylenol; extremely drowsy.
I grabbed her by the shoulders, and did something I’ve always wanted to do.
With one sharp “Hiiieya” I slammed my forehead straight into hers. She collapsed on the spot.
I’d like to say that I was victorious in my actions, but that chick had a forehead like steel.
It hurt a lot.
Nico and Lyssan were still in intense combat, but it was slow and tired as if they were stuck in a time warp. Unfortunately my sleep spell didn’t affect demi-gods as much as it did mortals.
“Hey Lyssan!” I yelled.
He made the mistake of looking.
“Take a nap.”
I raised my hand and centered it with his face, my fingertips glowed and he crumpled into a little heap on the floor on the train car.
“Thanks,” Gulped Nico.
“No problem,” I shrugged.
I kneeled next to Alyssa and untwisted one of her black hair-bands out of her hair.
She didn’t need two, one worked fine for me, plus she owed me in the first place.
I tied my hair back up and sighed, “Much better.”
Nico grinned quirkily and then blushed getting all shy, “I think you look pretty either way.”
I changed the subject.
“We better isolate these guys before they wake up,” I said.
“Yeah, but first there’s something I want you to try.”
He walked up to me and kneeled next to me and Alyssa.
“Okay, just trust me here,” he said.
“I already do.”
He blushed even more, for such a pale kid, he sure did gain a lot of pigment in his cheeks.
“Put your forefingers to her temples and try to remember fifteen minutes ago.”
I followed his instructions and the second I tried to think back a sharp pain shot thought my head and I snapped my eyes shut.
I saw Lyssan, he was wide awake and he was saying something to me, after a few seconds I could make out what he was saying.
“Are you sure mom wants us to do this?” I don’t want to upset her, “You know how she gets when she’s angry.”
He rubbed at his neck where I saw the white lines of fresh scars.
“Nyx wanted these demi-gods taken down before they reach Shasta. They’re moving along too quickly. They might actually make it. It’s our job to stop them, no matter how,” I said.
The words kind of just spouted out of my mouth, it wasn’t at all what I was thinking but it was what I said.
“That’s them right?” asked Lyssan nodding behind me. I turned my head to see Nico and, I feel weird saying this, myself sitting at our booth.
“Yeah,” I agreed, “Let’s go.”
I strided up to the booth.
I heard myself say, “It’s not a monster.”
“Ooooh, good job. If only you figured that out earlier,” I said and then suddenly everything went black and I opened my eyes.
“Whoa,” I said.
“I worked didn’t it?” prompted Nico looking excited.
“Yeah, those twins were hired as assassins by Nyx,” I said.
“Wow, she must be really desperate to dispose of us, that means were a threat.”
Lucky us,” I groaned sarcastically.
“Your tattoo was glowing,” he said.
“Yeah, it does that when I use my powers,” I reasoned.
“I just get all weak and sweaty.”
“Lovely,” I mused.
At that moment Percy walked back into the train car from the deck.
His jaw dropped open as he saw all the people in the car were asleep.
“Geez,” he said, “Somebody got a little angry.”
I looked at Nico and laughed.
He joined with me, and then I passed out from sheer exhaustion.
Nyx didn’t bug my at all while I slept, she knew that I was too much of a threat now that I realized how strong I was and that I was going to take her down.
Just like I could feel an attack coming earlier, I knew that the titan of night was afraid of me.