It was a typical day at the Hunter's camp. The Hunters could almost forget that, since a month before, Artemis had only visited them secretly. They were searching for Lycaeon, a tricky and disgusting werewolf. Lycaeon and his pack had been terrorizing their tracking wolves for weeks. The hunt had brought them to Omaha in the middle of winter, causing them to put on their coats and bring out the hot chocolate around the fire each night.
Once they reached Omaha, their wolves seemed to lose the scent. Some pulled towards a huge mansion, some pulled back into the woods. After several minutes' debate, Thalia made the decision to check out the house before heading back into the woods. As she rang the ornate golden doorbell, she recalled several horror movies when innocent girls knocked on mansion doors before being devoured by some sort of monster. She had no choice though. If an actual mortal lived in the house, she didn't want to cause them to have a heart attack by several dozen teens with weapons bursting into their house unexpectedly.
Before Thalia finished knocking, the door swung open to reveal a grinning man.
"Come in, come in! I'm so glad you are here. So, let's get down to business. What can I make for you?" He asked, talking as fast as an auctioneer.
Her best friend in the Hunters, Phoebe, raised her hand. "Can you slow down a bit? What business do you run, why would we be interested in it, and most of all, who are you?
Her slow tone seemed to sooth the man into talking at regular speeds. Bless charmspeak: Phoebe was a distant relative of Aphrodite.
The man's smile faltered. "I am Minos the Mighty, King of Crete. You do know me, correct?"
"Minos?" was heard from several directions. "Impossible! He's dead for millennia."
Thalia had more immediate concerns than a dead man. "Your majesty, we must be going. I'm sorry, but there is much to do" She gave a look to her hunters and they began to edge towards the door. When Thalia gave her signature glare, everyone did what she wanted. It was worse than Aegis!
"No, no, no. You can't go! We must do business!" Minos protested.
Under his breath, he added "I knew Omaha was bad for business. Stupid Hunters, think they are better than me."
"Your Majesty, how about we come back at a different time? After all, how do we know you are really Minos? Give us two days." Suggested a small Hunter.
"You dare suggest that I am a liar?" Thundered Minos. "I'll give you a sample. Could I see your knife for a second?" Warily, the little girl handed it over, keeping her other hand on her bow.
As soon as Minos touched it, a golden sheen spread itself along the shaft. After a couple seconds, something strange started happening. The usual silver glow seemed to fight the golden color. Silver and gold overlapped and spread, like they were fighting.
Thalia was smart enough to recognize it as the opportunity it was. "Retreat and leave the bow!" She yelled. The Hunters broke out running for the fence, Thalia covering their retreat with Aegis.
Once they were all safe, they met up with the Hunters that had gone into the woods before and told their story.
Thalia quickly IMed Lady Artemis. She seemed happy that all the Hunters were safe, and puzzled when Thalia told her of the gold and silver bow. She promised to allude to the fact King Minos was back at the next Council meeting, but then said she had to go, Zeus was sensing her. All in all, it was a very short and satisfactory report. Thalia was confident that Lady Artemis would sort it out, like usual. If Zeus's commands couldn't stop her contact with the Hunters, nothing would.
Thalia sat back and relaxed for the first time in forever and thought of the family she had in the Hunters.