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So I somehow got over 100 reads on this- yay?! :))))

The doors of the SUV slammed shut as the four demigods got resituated. They had gotten hungry after six hours of driving, so Nico told Jules-Albert to stop at McDonalds (much to the healer's displeasure). In the short amount of time it took for them to place their to-go orders they had been attacked by a group of trouble-making wind spirits, destroyed the outdoor play place, and ended up having the cops called on them. Somehow this hadn't stopped Will from lecturing them about the dangers of fast food and how unhealthy it was while they ran back to the SUV. Covering the vehicle in mist was all Lou Ellen could do so that when they high-tailed it out of there the police didn't pay any attention to them.

As soon as they were back on the road, eating contently all the while, the music started up again automatically. It was currently playing "It's Raining Sunshine" to which Nico almost choked on his soda.

"Will," he said with some aggravation in his voice, "your taste in music is terrible. This is coming from someone who listened to 1940's rock and the like."

"Oh I just threw that one in there as a joke! I tried to put stuff I thought you'd enjoy too, you know. It's just I don't know what you like so I put songs from every genre on there. By the way, why did you get yourself a Happy Meal? You're almost fifteen."

Nico turned around to glare at the son of Apollo. "I always get Happy Meals."

Cecil and Lou Ellen looked at each other, cracking twin smiles.

"I think it's really funny," Cecil started, "that the son of Hades, Mr. Doom and Gloom, always orders a Happy Meal."

"Yeah," Lou Ellen added. "Nico must be immune to things meant to make kids happy."

"I'm not a kid!"

Cecil stared at him. "You ordered a Kid's Meal, Nico."

"It's a Mighty Kid's Meal," he stressed.

He must have not understood how stubborn (and funny) he was being, because the look of surprise when the three in the back proceeded to rock the SUV with laughter was obvious. With a sigh, he turned back to face the road and finished his Mighty Kid's Meal without a word.

A few hours later they crossed the border into Georgia. It was ironic that "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" began playing as soon as they did, to which the trio in the back proceeded to laugh like idiots.

"If you guys don't stop being stupid I am going to stop this car!"

"It's an SUV," Cecil pointed out. "Also, you're not the one driving."


The child of Hermes did as Nico said for about five minutes before breaking out into song with the two beside him. Nico let his head fall against the glass of his window, debating whether or not it was worth it to go into another Death Trance for the remaining hour or so of their drive.

Finally, just when Cecil thought Nico was about to murder him, they were in the city of Atlanta.

"There are a lot of restless spirits here," the child of Hades said solemnly.

Lou Ellen tilted her head. "Why?"

"There are a lot of monsters here in Atlanta, but not the ones we're used to facing. Lots of women and children get kidnapped by people who are in charge of human-trafficking. That's where the young and many women get sold as slaves to others against their will. It's an underground trade that is the biggest and most successful here than anywhere else in the United States. There are groups and movements to stop it, but the monsters are good at keeping hidden."

"That's really sad." She said with a frown.

Nico nodded, his lips a thin line. "It is."

"Well," Will said as he tried to lift their spirits. "How about that entrance to the labyrinth your ghost friend told you about? Are we close to it?"

"I think I sense it a few blocks away. It's not a physical entrance though, if that's what you're thinking. Basically it's just a section of the maze that is closer to the surface than the rest of the maze. I am going to have to shadow travel us down there," he warned. "It won't take more than a minute."

That was when the SUV was rammed by what appeared to be a metal bull.

The vehicle was hurled into the air, the demigods screaming while Jules-Albert remained stone-faced. They spun once before descending back down to earth. The air-bags in the front seats went off, pinning Nico to the seat as the SUV landed with a sickening crunch.

"Hurry!" Will shouted as those in the back seat unbuckled their seatbelts and fled the vehicle. When he noticed that Nico wasn't following their lead, sitting their dazed from the impact his head had taken when the airbag whipped it against his own seat, he went to rescue him. Unfortunately the door was mangled beyond belief.

"What are you waiting for, Will? Get him out of there!" Lou Ellen screamed. A little ways down the road the metal bull was preparing to charge.

"I can't! The door is stuck."

Cecil ran to Will's side, grinning at his friend despite the situation. The son of Hermes took his blade and rammed it into the glass, shattering it instantly. Together the two boys dragged Nico out of the vehicle while Lou Ellen tricked the bull into running into another car using the mist.

"The entrance is just over there," Nico said as he stood on his own. There was blood seeping from a cut on his forehead where the glass had sliced him as he was pulled from the vehicle, but he was otherwise fine.

"Let's go then. Lou Ellen!" Cecil grabbed his friend by the arm. Then they were running.

"That bull looks familiar," Will panted as they dodged a flying car. It seemed the bull was not happy about being tricked. "I think it attacked camp before, the day Thalia's tree was poisoned three years or so ago."

Cecil nodded. He had been a new camper when that incident happened. "At least it took a long time to reform. But what is it doing here?"

"Someone is trying to stop us from completing the quest," Nico said darkly.

It was that moment the ground beneath them shook. The four turned around just as the bull was closing in, fire blowing from its nostrils. When it was just about to bear down on them they scattered, the bull running past them and into a convenient store.

"I hope that place has insurance," Cecil muttered before raising his sword.

"Guys, aim for the spot just behind its arm!" Will shouted from where he stood a few feet away. "There's a chink it the metal and if someone stabs there the bull's mechanical core will be busted. Just make sure after it's destroyed to take cover. When Percy defeated it the explosion was huge!"

This time when the bull charged, Cecil waved his arms and whooped for the ugly mechanical monster to follow him. His dad was the god of travel and thievery after all, so he could run away pretty fast. While he was targeting by the bull Nico, Will, and Lou Ellen sprang at the beast as it thundered by. It was Nico's blade that pierced through the metal. The beast began to shudder, but before it could explode Nico called the shadows to wrap around it. Nico grunted in effort as he struggled to keep the shadows from dispelling against the massive amount of light produced by the fiery explosion.

"Grab hands everyone," Nico commanded. He snuck a glance at the ruined SUV where Jules-Albert still sat like nothing was wrong, shaking his head before telling the zombie he could go and shadow traveling them into the labyrinth below.

But not before Lou Ellen turned to Nico with a teasing grin. "When your dad finds out about this, he's going to kill you."

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