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KYRA STOOD OFF to the side of the sparring mat, focusing her camera on the two campers practicing their sword skills

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KYRA STOOD OFF to the side of the sparring mat, focusing her camera on the two campers practicing their sword skills. Sherman Yang and Billie Ng swung at each other and Kyra clicked the button on her camera just as their swords clanged together.

The blonde looked down at the screen of her camera and smiled at the result. She couldn't wait to make a new scrapbook once she's bought all the supplies.

"Hey, Ky! Take a pic of us, would you?" The teenager turned to see Valentina and other members of the Aphrodite cabin posing with their usual duck lips and peace hand sign pose.

Kyra shook her head and smiled before lifting her camera once again and taking a snapshot of the Aphrodite children. She had plenty of photos of the girls on her SD card, but as long as it had her on their good side, she didn't mind.

The three cabin members rushed over to look at the photo on her camera and were gushing about their hair and makeup or how they looked in the clothes when there was a yell, "Hey, Will, isn't that your chariot?"

Everyone looked towards the sky to see the Apollo chariot on fire, the pegasi flying towards the lake, "Oh, c'mon, we just repainted it!" Austin groaned.

"Nyssa, I would get the leaf blower!" Will called out before ordering other campers to get blankets and towels.

Kyra aimed her lens towards the figures in the sky, rapidly taking shots until they hit the water. She knew she wasn't being very useful, but hey, they'll be pretty cool action photos.

Annabeth and Butch came out of the water along with three other kids that Kyra has never seen before.

The first boy seemed to be around her age with an athletic build, with tanned arms and legs covered by cargo shorts and a purple t-shirt. His blonde hair was cut short with sky blue eyes and a small scar on his upper lip.

The second boy is a bit shorter and thinner and had dark, curly black hair and pointy ears. He reminded her of an elf, in a way, except more tanned. He had an impish smile and a look in his dark brown eyes that made her think he's drunk at least five cups of coffee that day.

The girl that came out of the lake had tanned skin, making Kyra think that she had some foreign blood in her. Her brown hair was choppy and had thin braids down the side and her eyes intrigued Kyra. They seemed to change colors, like a kaleidoscope, and Kyra wanted to take a photo of them.

"Annabeth!" Will stepped forward, "I said you could borrow the chariot, not destroy it!"

"Will, I'm sorry," Annabeth sighed. "I'll get it fixed, I promise."

Will scowled at his broken chariot. Then he sized up the new campers, "These are the ones? Way older than thirteen. Why haven't they been claimed already?"

"Claimed?" the Latino elf asked.

Before Annabeth could explain, Will asked, "Any sign of Percy?"

"No," Annabeth admitted with a frown,

The campers around Kyra muttered things about Percy's disappearance and Drew stepped forward, making eyes at the tall blonde boy who came out of the water before scowling at the girl, "Well," Drew said, "I hope they're worth the trouble."

The curly-haired boy snorted. "Gee, thanks. What are we, your new pets?"

"No kidding," The blonde boy said, "How about some answers before you start judging us—like, what is this place, why are we here, how long do we have to stay?"

"Jason," Annabeth said, giving a name to the face, "I promise we'll answer your questions. And Drew" She frowned at the Aphrodite girl, "all demigods are worth saving. But I'll admit, the trip didn't accomplish what I hoped."

"Hey," The girl said, "we didn't ask to be brought here."

Drew sniffed, "And nobody wants you, hon. Does your hair always look like a dead badger?"

The new girl stepped forward, ready to smack her, but Annabeth said, "Piper, stop. We need to make our new arrivals feel welcome," Annabeth continued, with another pointed look at Drew. "We'll assign them each a guide, give them a tour of camp. Hopefully by the campfire tonight, they'll be claimed."

"Would somebody tell me what claimed means?" Piper, the new girl, asked.

Suddenly there was a collective gasp and Kyra's eyes widened as a fiery hammer appeared above the other boy's head, "That," Kyra smirked before taking a picture, "is claiming."

"What'd I do?" The elvish boy backed toward the lake. Then he glanced up and yelped. "Is my hair on fire?" He ducked, but the symbol followed him, bobbing and weaving so it looked like he was trying to write something in flames with his head.

"This can't be good," Butch muttered. "The curse—"

"Butch, shut up," Annabeth said. "Leo, you've just been claimed—"

"By a god," Jason interrupted. "That's the symbol of Vulcan, isn't it?"

All eyes turned to him. Not only was he right, but he knew the Roman version of the Greek God.

"Jason," Annabeth said carefully, "how did you know that?"

His eyebrows furrowed in confusion, "I'm not quite sure."

"Vulcan?" Leo demanded. "I don't even like Star Trek. What are you talking about?"

"Vulcan is the Roman name for Hephaestus," Kyra commented, "the God of blacksmiths and fire."

The fiery hammer faded, but Leo kept swatting the air like he was afraid it was following him. "The God of what? Who?"

Annabeth turned to Will, "Will, would you take Leo, give him a tour? Introduce him to his bunk-mates in Cabin Nine."

"Sure, Annabeth."

"What's Cabin Nine?" Leo asked. "And I'm not a Vulcan!"

"Come on, Mr. Spock, I'll explain everything." Will put a hand on his shoulder and steered him off toward the cabins.

Annabeth turned her attention back to Jason. She studied him like he was a complicated blueprint. Finally, she said, "Hold out your arm."

Jason did what he was told and on the inside of his right forearm was a tattoo. It was darkly etched, impossible to miss: a dozen straight lines like a bar code, and over that an eagle with the letters SPQR. Kyra lifted her camera and took a photo of the tattoo.

"I've never seen marks like this," Annabeth stated, "Where did you get them?"

Jason shook his head, "I'm getting really tired of saying this, but I don't know."

The other campers behind Kyra pushed forward, trying to get a look at Jason's tattoo. The marks seemed to bother them a lot, almost like a declaration of war.

"They look burned into your skin," Kyra commented, wanting to reach and touch the tattoo.

"They were," Jason said. Then he winced as if his head was aching. "I mean ... I think so. I don't remember."

No one said anything, including Kyra. It was clear the campers saw Annabeth as the leader. They were waiting for her verdict, "He needs to go straight to Chiron," Annabeth decided. "Kyra, would you take him."

"Yes, ma'am," Kyra gave him a smile, "C'mon, Newbie. I'll introduce you to our director. He's ... an interesting guy."

GOLDEN DAYS |JASON GRACE| {1}Where stories live. Discover now