When they first saw each other, Percy and Calypso had hugged awkwardly. I hadn’t witnessed such a tense greeting since Patroclus met Achilles’s war prize, Briseis. (Long story. Juicy gossip. Ask me later.) Calypso had never liked me, so she pointedly ignored me, but I kept waiting for her to yell “BOO!” and turn me into a tree frog. The suspense was killing me.

Percy hugged Leo and didn’t even punch him. Still, the son of Poseidon looked disgruntled.

“I can’t believe it,” he said. “Six months—”

“I told you,” Leo said. “We tried sending more holographic scrolls. We tried Iris messages, dream visions, phone calls. Nothing worked.—Ow! Hey, Alice, how you doing?—Anyway, we ran into one crisis after another.”

Calypso nodded. “Albania was particularly difficult.”

From down the line, Nico di Angelo yelled, “Please do not mention Albania! Okay, who’s next, folks? One line.”

Damien White punched Leo’s arm and walked away grinning. I wasn’t sure Damien even knew Leo. He simply couldn’t turn down a chance to punch someone.

Leo rubbed his bicep. “Hey, no fair. That guy’s getting back in the line. So, like I was saying, if Festus hadn’t picked up on that homing beacon yesterday, we’d still be flying around, looking for a way out of the Sea of Monsters.”

“Oh, I hate that place,” Percy said. “There’s this big Cyclops, Polyphemus—”

“I know, right?” Leo agreed. “What is up with that guy’s breath?”

“Boys,” Calypso said, “perhaps we should focus on the present?”

She did not look at me, but I got the impression she meant this silly former god and his problems.

“Yeah,” Percy said. “So the communication issues…Rachel Dare thinks it’s got something to do with this company, Triumvirate.”

Rachel herself had gone to the Big House to fetch Chiron, but Percy did a reasonable job summarizing what she had found out about the emperors and their evil corporation. Of course, we didn’t know very much. By the time six more people had punched Leo in the arm, Percy had brought Leo and Calypso up to speed.

Leo rubbed his new bruises. “Man, why does it not surprise me that modern corporations are run by zombie Roman emperors?”

“They are not zombies,” I said. “And I’m not sure they run all corporations—”

Leo waved away my explanation. “But they’re trying to take over the Oracles.”

“Yes,” I agreed.

“And that’s bad.”


“So you need our help.—Ow! Hey, Sherman. Where’d you get the new scar, dude?”

While Sherman told Leo the story of Crotchkicker McCaffrey and the Demon Peach Baby, I glanced at Calypso.

She looked very different from what I remembered. Her hair was still long and caramel brown. Her almond-shaped eyes were still dark and intelligent. But now, instead of a chiton she wore modern jeans, a white blouse, and a shocking-pink ski jacket. She looked younger—about my mortal age. I wondered if she had been punished with mortality for leaving her enchanted island. If so, it didn’t seem fair that she had retained her otherworldly beauty. She had neither flab nor acne.

As I watched, she stretched two fingers toward the opposite end of the picnic table, where a pitcher of lemonade sweated in the sunlight. I had seen her do this sort of thing before, willing her invisible aerial servants to whisk objects into her hands. This time, nothing happened.

A look of disappointment crossed her face. Then she realized I was watching. Her cheeks colored.

“Since leaving Ogygia, I have no powers,” she admitted. “I am fully mortal. I keep hoping, but—”

“You want a drink?” Percy asked.

“I got it.” Leo beat him to the pitcher.

I had not expected to feel sympathy for Calypso. We’d had harsh words in the past. A few millennia ago, I had opposed her petition for early release from Ogygia because of some…ah, drama between us. (Long story. Juicy gossip. Please do not ask me later.)

Still, as a fallen god, I understood how disconcerting it was to be without one’s powers.

On the other hand, I was relieved. This meant she could not turn me into a tree frog or order her aerial servants to toss me off the Athena Parthenos.

“Here you go.” Leo handed her a glass of lemonade. His expression seemed darker and more anxious, as if…Ah, of course. Leo had rescued Calypso from her prison island. In doing so, Calypso had lost her powers. Leo felt responsible.