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Percy / 6

Francisco and wished he were in one of them. Then he real- ized the highway must cut through the hill. There must be a tunnel . . . right under his feet.

His internal radar went nuts. He was in the right place, just too high up. He had to check out that tunnel. He needed a way down to the highway—fast.

He slung off his backpack. He’d managed to grab a lot of supplies at the Napa Bargain Mart: a portable GPS, duct tape, lighter, superglue, water bottle, camping roll, a comfy panda pillow pet (as seen on TV), and a Swiss army knife—pretty much every tool a modern demigod could want. But he had nothing that would serve as a parachute or a sled.

That left him two options: jump eighty feet to his death, or stand and fight. Both options sounded pretty bad.

He cursed and pulled his pen from his pocket. The pen didn’t look like much, just a regular cheap ball- point, but when Percy uncapped it, it grew into a glowing bronze sword. The blade balanced perfectly. The leather grip fit his hand like it had been custom designed for him. Etched along the guard was an Ancient Greek word Percy somehow understood: Anaklusmos—Riptide.

He’d woken up with this sword his first night at the Wolf House—two months ago? More? He’d lost track. He’d found himself in the courtyard of a burned-out mansion in the mid- dle of the woods, wearing shorts, an orange T-shirt, and a leather necklace with a bunch of strange clay beads. Riptide had been in his hand, but Percy had had no idea who he was or how he’d gotten there. He’d been barefoot, freezing, and confused. And then the wolves came. . . .

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