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Percy / 4

He’d only survived this long because the two snake-haired ladies—gorgons, they called themselves—couldn’t seem to kill him either. Their claws didn’t cut his skin. Their teeth broke whenever they tried to bite him. But Percy couldn’t keep going much longer. Soon he’d collapse from exhaustion, and then

  • as hard as he was to kill, he was pretty sure the gorgons

would find a way.

Where to run? He scanned his surroundings. Under different circum- stances, he might’ve enjoyed the view. To his left, golden hills rolled inland, dotted with lakes, woods, and a few herds of cows. To his right, the flatlands of Berkeley and Oakland marched west—a vast checkerboard of neighborhoods, with several million people who probably did not want their morn- ing interrupted by two monsters and a filthy demigod.

Farther west, San Francisco Bay glittered under a silvery haze. Past that, a wall of fog had swallowed most of San Francisco, leaving just the tops of skyscrapers and the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge.

A vague sadness weighed on Percy’s chest. Something told him he’d been to San Francisco before. The city had some connection to Annabeth—the only person he could remem- ber from his past. His memory of her was frustratingly dim. The wolf had promised he would see her again and regain his memory—if he succeeded in his journey.

Should he try to cross the bay? It was tempting. He could feel the power of the ocean just over the horizon. Water always revived him. Salt water was the best. He’d discovered that two days ago when he had

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