I tended to the last of the injured while the harpies cleaned the area, picking up bandages, torn clothing, and damaged weapons. They gathered the golden apples in a basket and promised to bake us some lovely glowing apple turnovers for breakfast.

At Chiron’s urging, the remaining campers dispersed back to their cabins. He promised them we would determine what to do in the morning, but I had no intention of waiting.

As soon as we were alone, I turned to Chiron and Meg.

“I’m going after Kayla and Austin,” I told them. “You can join me or not.”

Chiron’s expression tightened. “My friend, you’re exhausted and unprepared. Go back to your cabin. It will serve no purpose—”

“No.” I waved him off, as I once might have done when I was a god. The gesture probably looked petulant coming from a sixteen-year-old nobody, but I didn’t care. “I have to do this.”

The centaur lowered his head. “I should have listened to you before the race. You tried to warn me. What—what did you discover?”

The question stopped my momentum like a seat belt.

After rescuing Sherman Yang, after listening to Python in the Labyrinth, I had felt certain I knew the answers. I had remembered the name Dodona, the stories about talking trees…

Now my mind was once again a bowl of fuzzy mortal soup. I couldn’t recall what I’d been so excited about, or what I had intended to do about it.

Perhaps exhaustion and stress had taken their toll. Or maybe Zeus was manipulating my brain—allowing me tantalizing glimpses of the truth, then snatching them away, turning my aha! moments into huh? moments.

I howled in frustration. “I don’t remember!”

Meg and Chiron exchanged nervous glances.

“You’re not going,” Meg told me firmly.

“What? You can’t—”

“That’s an order,” she said. “No going into the woods until I say so.”

The command sent a shudder from the base of my skull to my heels.

I dug my fingernails into my palms. “Meg McCaffrey, if my children die because you wouldn’t let me—”

“Like Chiron said, you’d just get yourself killed. We’ll wait for daylight.”

I thought how satisfying it would be to drop Meg from the sun chariot at high noon. Then again, some small rational part of me realized she might be right. I was in no condition to launch a one-man rescue operation. That just made me angrier.

Chiron’s tail swished from side to side. “Well, then…I will see you both in the morning. We will find a solution. I promise you that.”

He gave me one last look, as if worried I might start running in circles and baying at the moon. Then he trotted back toward the Big House.

I scowled at Meg. “I’m staying out here tonight, in case Kayla and Austin come back. Unless you want to forbid me from doing that, too.”

She only shrugged. Even her shrugs were annoying.

I stormed off to the Me cabin and grabbed a few supplies: a flashlight, two blankets, a canteen of water. As an afterthought, I took a few books from Will Solace’s bookshelf. No surprise, he kept reference materials about me to share with new campers. I thought perhaps the books might help jog my memories. Failing that, they’d make good tinder for a fire.

When I returned to the edge of the woods, Meg was still there.

I hadn’t expected her to keep vigil with me. Being Meg, she had apparently decided it would be the best way to irritate me.

She sat next to me on my blanket and began eating a golden apple, which she had hidden in her coat. Winter mist drifted through the trees. The night breeze rippled through the grass, making patterns like waves.

Under different circumstances, I might have written a poem about it. In my present state of mind, I could only have managed a funeral dirge, and I did not want to think about death.

I tried to stay mad at Meg, but I couldn’t manage it. I supposed she’d had my best interests at heart…or at least, she wasn’t ready to see her new godly servant get himself killed.

She didn’t try to console me. She asked me no questions. She amused herself by picking up small rocks and tossing them into the woods. That, I didn’t mind. I happily would’ve given her a catapult if I had one.

As the night wore on, I read about myself in Will’s books.

Normally this would have been a happy task. I am, after all, a fascinating subject. This time, however, I gained no satisfaction from my glorious exploits. They all seemed like exaggerations, lies, and…well, myths. Unfortunately, I found a chapter about Oracles. Those few pages stirred my memory, confirming my worst suspicions.