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I will be safe, I think to myself. I won’t be injured when I land on the grass.

My teeth chatter as I fall. To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of heights, so falling through the air is really hard for me. But, I force myself to concentrate on the little things rather than the big things for the sake of my miniscule amount of sanity.

Goosebumps form on my pale arms, and my stomach does a few somersaults as I fall. The wind howls in my ears as I plunge toward the ground, my heart pounding so fast I think it’ll explode any minute. Every muscle in my body aches even more than it did before, making me feel worse than I ever have before----my legs ache, my heart’s on fire, and my arms feel like they’ve just lost a wrestling match.

Oh, yeah. I was made for air-travel.

The closer I get to the ground, the more my body tilts backward. When I’m only ten feet away from the ground, I believe I’ll be a demigod-pancake, but instead, some kind of trampoline forms below me, and I harmlessly bounce off of it.

No, it’s not a trampoline. I just bounced off of fire.

Fire, I think to myself. I can bounce off of fire, now.

I land on both of my feet, happy when I realize I’m still alive. But all of my problems haven’t been solved, yet.

The creatures turn around on the branches, baring their long, dirty fangs. One of them leaps off of the branch and begins to fall towards me, ready to pounce.

Instinctively, I roll out of the way, letting the monster flatten itself on the ground, only leaving a large amount of yellow dust behind.

My hands immediately go to my throat, and it feels like my heart’s about to jump through my throat and come out of body any second.

I slowly stumble to my feet, ready to face the other monsters.

When the other monsters dive towards me, I back into a tree, bracing myself for the attack.

But nothing happens. The monsters just run into the tree trunk and disintegrate into the yellow dust, too.

Percy runs up to me, looking at me like I’m crazy (I guess I’m crazy because Percy’s frowning at me like Scooby-Doo). “Are you okay?” he asks.

I hold up my hand, feeling something in my throat. Then I cover my mouth with my arm, and I begin to cough----no, hack----up some of the yellow dust.

“Yeah,” I say, my voice hoarse, “I’m just”----I cough again----“fine. You know where any fried chicken is?”

Percy’s frown melts, and he looks relieved. “I-I thought… You were…”

I raise my eyebrows. “I was… What?”

“Nothing,” Percy lies quickly. “Nothing. I think the other campers can handle the rest of the monsters. But… uh, why did you get up?”

“Because I could,” I reply, starting to walk away from him.

“But Annabeth said----”

“I’m gonna be honest with you, Percy,” I begin, “I don’t care what people say. If you don’t keep an eye on me, I’ll do what I want. I’m pretty sure that’s a concept even you could understand, okay?”

Percy tilts his head to the side. “What does the word ‘concept’ mean?”

I roll my eyes before I begin to walk away from Percy, ignoring his obvious stupidity.

“WAIT!” Percy yells, running to catch up with me. “We’ve got to go to Chiron and tell him about----”

“Tell me what?” a familiar voice asks.

I turn around, and I see Chiron the centaur standing behind me, a bow slung over his right shoulder.

“I’m gonna assume we have a lot to discuss,” Percy says.

I slowly bring the bottle of water to my lips. When I do, my tongue basks in the moisture, and this is when I realize just how thirsty I’ve been for the past few hours.

Chiron, Percy, and I sit in Chiron’s apartment in the Big House (it kind of reminds me of Bear’s Big Blue House) with some girl named Adalia Smith. She’s the girl with the cool bow from earlier, and she just sits in her corner of the room, her big brown eyes always looking towards the sun.

Just a few minutes ago, all the monsters were killed by Annabeth and her siblings from the Athena cabin. They’re currently making sure all the security plans for the camp are top-notch or whatever. Meanwhile, I just want a bucket of Italian ice!

I know. I’m random.

“Those monsters just kept appearing, Chiron,” Adalia, says, her brown eyes gleaming. “No matter how many I killed, they just kept on reforming.”

“And they were nasty, too,” Percy adds. “I don’t know why five of them went after Raven, though.”

“It’s probably because you were sitting near the edge of the camp, and the creatures attacked the nearest half-blood they could find,” Chiron says. He sounds like he’s trying to convince himself more than me. “Hopefully, Raven’s godly parent is a minor god. You shall be claimed soon enough.”

“When’s ‘soon enough’?” I ask Chiron, taking another sip of water.

“If you do something to make your parent notice you, then they might claim you.”

I nearly squeeze all the water out of the water bottle, and I make myself take a deep breath before I speak again. “Claim me? So claiming me is my dad’s way of deciding not to ignore me anymore? Wait a minute. You’re saying I have to do something exemplary just to get my dad’s attention? Do you know how dumb that is?”

“It’s just the way it is,” Adalia says, her voice turning sour.

“So I’m supposed to sit around and wait for my father to notice my presence on this planet? So he didn’t notice me when he was with my mom? Is that what you’re saying, Chiron?”

Chiron frowns at me. “I believe you are taking this whole situation and placing it out of context.”

“Out of context?” I say, gritting my teeth. “How is what I’m saying out of context? I’m only telling the truth!”

I look over at the girl, and I see the pained look in her eyes.

“How long have you been here?” I ask Adalia.

“Well, I was brought to camp three years ago, but I don’t stay here that much. I mean, I know who my parents are, but they never claimed me while I was here.”

“Have you been claimed, Percy?” I ask, looking directly at him.

Percy looks down at his feet and blushes. “No. Dad hasn’t sent any sign… yet.”

“See?” I say. “This whole, stupid system is unfair!”

“For now,” Chiron says, obviously ignoring my truthful outburst, “you shall reside in Hermes’ cabin with Percy and Adalia.”

“Actually,” Adalia says, speaking up, “I’m going back to Olympus. My mother only wanted to give you a message.”

She hands Chiron a bright blue envelope before she gets up and strolls out of the room.

Chiron sighs. “Well, Percy, give Raven a tour of camp. I will talk to Mr. D about this later. In the meantime, make Raven feel welcome here. After all, this is her home.”

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