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There were other boats in the water with them. Plenty of them. It was Reyna's turn to row, and she had to navigate through them. They were too big to see her.

But the amount of boats told Reyna that they were close to a port city.

She remembered when they had gone through the Panama Canal. It had been warm down there. The pirates had killed the people who asked for the toll.

Reyna winced to think about it.

Her arms burned, but at least rowing was somewhat mindless.

Gem had woken up about an hour ago. She seemed slightly disturbed, but when Reyna asked her what was wrong, she just replied, "a dream," and fell silent. They hadn't said anything since. Hylla was asleep now.

And then the boat abruptly tipped to one side. Reyna yelped and instinctively leaned the other way, looking back to see what has caused the imbalance.

Gem was leaning over the side of the boat, making excited cinnamon roll noises, and pointing at the small dark blotch on the horizon.


As it came into view over the next hour, Reyna made out a certain tower, thin but bulging dramatically towards the top. The Space Needle.

Well, at least that explained the freezing humidity and the cold drizzle that was starting to fall from the sky.

"Welcome to Seattle, I guess," Reyna said.

"Where's that?" Gem asked dreamily.

Reyna stared at her. How did she not know-

"In Washington," Reyna answered. She had gotten sort of used to Gem's strange questions over the months that they had been on the pirate ship. "USA."

"Is that close to New York?"

Reyna laughed. "No. On the other side of the country."

Reyna knew why Gem was interested in New York. That place she kept talking about - Camp Half-Blood - was on Long Island. It was apparently safe. Reyna didn't know if it was safe for her, though. The gods Gem mentioned were all Greek.

They dragged onto a small pebbly beach close to a huge pier. There were a few people there, but Reyna didn't really care about the stares. A sign nearby labelled the place Pocket Beach.

"This is cute!" Gem beamed.

Reyna shook Hylla's shoulder. Her sister woke up and looked at Reyna groggily. "Food?"

"Better," Reyna said. "Land."

Hylla sat up, her eyes wide. "Showers," she gasped.

"Bathrooms," Reyna added, because she really needed to use one.

Gem laughed. "Food and water."

"I'm sick of water," Hylla grumbled.

"Fresh water," Gem amended.

Still ignoring the confused passerby, they abandoned their lifeboat and ran for the nearest public bathrooms.

"No showers," Reyna announced after they had relieved themselves. "But we can get into a public pool or gym or something if we need to."

"Uh- are you okay?" a particularly concerned lady asked.

Reyna nodded at her. "Just, our... fishing boat... capsized and we ended up in the lifeboat. We're fine, really."

"Do you need help?"

"No," Hylla said. "We live here, we can find our way back." she started to herd Reyna and Gem out of the bathrooms.

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