Thanks for waiting, guys! Here's the first chapter of the sequel to Heroes of Haven: Six Feet Under.


It was the dead of night.

Sergeant Damien Jing of the LEP, a recon officer fresh from the traffic-clogged streets of Haven, was walking through Central Park in Manhattan, New York, USA. It was a standard mission- get in, look around, get out- and he wasn't being particularly attentive.

This turned out to be for the worst.

Suddenly, off to his right, he heard a strange snuffling noise, as though a large and overenthusiastic dog was searching for kibble on the ground.

If Damien Jing had had any experience whatsoever in surface missions, he would have shielded immediately and turned on night vision.

He didn't.

"Hello?" he called out. "Who's there?"

The noise stopped. Damien turned on the night vision.

The monster that had blended in so perfectly with the dark night was suddenly thrown into stark contrast with the dewy grass. It was six feet tall, with shaggy, overgrown hair and glittering eyes like two lamps. It growled.

"Oh," said Damien quietly. "Um. Hello there. Nice... doggy..."

The monster leapt.


"So what's all this about, then?" asked Captain Holly Short, pulling her helmet on over her short fringe of hair.

"Missing officer," replied Foaly. He seemed unusually sidetracked today. "Central Park, Manhattan, USA. About a month ago Sergeant Damien Jing, pixie, went to investigate rumors of a loose troll- nothing concrete, but LEP thought it worth checking. Jing never made it back." He snorted, something that, as a centaur, he did very well and very explosively. "Personally I think the kid got cold feet and has been hiding out with the gangs. This is New York we're talking about."

"Sounds about right." Holly had nothing but contempt for deserters. Anyone who got scared of a rumor certainly wouldn't be able to hold their own against a fact. "So what's my op?"

"Get in, look around, get out. Standard. If you happen to stumble across Jing in a goblin bar, you are to attempt arrest. If you find him and he's in trouble, call for backup. If you find him and he's dead, call for backup and a forensics team."

"You don't have to go through the entire process, Foaly, I know what to do."

"Oh, I know you do, but the commander seemed very definite about the 'call for backup' part. In fact, the backup you're supposed to call is him."

Holly was shocked. "What? That doesn't make any sense." She tightened the straps on her wings (an old model, the Swallows, but dependable and sturdy) and pulled on her boots.

"Search me. Old Trouble looked a bit antsy."

Holly knew for a fact that if 'Old Trouble' discovered Foaly was referring to him as such, there would be... well, trouble... but she didn't say anything.

"I'll leave Trouble to his preoccupations. This should be easy. Thanks, Foaly. See you soon."

And with that Captain Holly Short of the LEPRecon unit glided out the door and into the waiting shuttle.


According to her helmet readings, it was a cold morning in Central Park, but Holly didn't feel the chill.

She was back on the surface. She was on a mission. She was in her element. All she needed now was Artemis on the mike as well as Foaly, and this mission would be perfect. It was always nice to have two friends to make fun of as opposed to just one.

There was frost still on the grass when she touched down; it crunched delightfully under her boots. Holly felt a trill run through her. There was nothing like a surface mission to wake you up.

Looking around, she didn't see anything suspicious, although that was to be expected. It was weeks since Jing had disappeared. Any signs of a struggle, if there had been one, would have long faded.

She eased herself into a slow jog to scan the area in which helmet readings had last reported Jing to be. It was a relatively small space, so if there was anything to be found she should find it pretty quickly.

Off to the left, a grove of shivering trees; to the right, a clump of boulders like the archway to some ancient pavilion. Up above, off-white sky as far as the eye could see.

After doing a preliminary check of the terrain, she strolled over to the grove. The trees were tall and pale-trunked, aspens, probably, although Holly didn't pretend to be an expert in the local flora. They were singularly average. A closer examination upheld her assumption that if Jing had scrawled his last words onto something in Central Park, that something certainly wasn't one of these trees.

She crossed to the boulders. They really did look somehow mystical. Like Stonehenge if those menhirs had had weeds growing from between the cracks and a soda can set like some ceremonial artifact upon the crest of the tallest monolith.

Holly shook her head. "Stupid Mud People and their stupid Mud drinks," she muttered to Foaly, who snorted over the mike.

Taking a quick glance around, she unshielded, and stepped onto the first boulder, extending her arm to try to grab the litter, and as she reached she found herself suddenly face-to face with a green-gray blodge on the rock far too precise to be natural discoloration.

Holly screeched and lost her footing, tumbling down off her rock. It was only a foot down, but even so she scratched her calf rather roughly on an out-thrust rock. The sharp granite sliced through her suit's highly-sensitized fabric and through to the skin below.

Grimacing as she felt blood welling on her leg, she hoisted herself back up to examine the spot on the stone.

Her worst suspicions were confirmed. It was a dried-green color, and crusty like dried ointment.

It was, in fact, pixie blood.

Holly stared.

"Foaly. You seeing this?"

"You bet," came the voice through her com. "Looks like Jing wasn't a deserter after all. Poor kid. Wonder what got him."

"I don't know, but you bet I'm going to find out."

"Holly, remember what Trouble said-"

"Oh, quiet, Foaly, I'll call him in a minute. I'm just going to poke around a little more and then I'll call the commander."


She could tell Foaly didn't like it. She didn't know what had gotten into him today- normally he would have taken delight in encouraging her to try Trouble's patience.

But there was so much she could find on her own that she wouldn't be able to see with a team swarming over the place, though. First things first, however. She stretched out her leg in front of her and carefully peeled back the layer of bloody fabric.

It was a nasty little cut, but nothing a little magic wouldn't fix. Any moment now, the sparks would realize she was hurt... ah. That felt a lot better. Now to shield again before anyone noticed her poking around-

"Woah, cool."

The voice came from behind her. Holly spun around. Standing behind her were two Mud Girls, seemingly a little younger than Artemis, although Holly would be the first to admit that he probably wasn't the best model for age comparison.

One was short and petite, sweet-looking, with braces and hair in braids like Dorothy from that aggravatingly cheerful favorite movie of Root's. The other was taller, with a heavier build and a strong jaw framed by straight black hair that reflected the morning light.

"You must be a halfblood," said the short one. It was her who had spoken a moment before. "Whose kid? Apollo?"

Holly frowned. This was not the comment she had expected. "What?" she said intelligently.

"Whose kid are you," the girl repeated patiently.

Holly stared at her blankly. "My parents'...?"

"Lace, I don't think she knows," said the other, rolling her eyes. Then she looked at Holly. "Sorry about that. She tends to think everyone always knows what she's talking about. Her name's Lacy, by the way. I'm Jaime. Daughter of Iris."

Lacy elbowed her. "She doesn't know what we're talking about, remember?"

"Of course I remember. I'm just giving her some basis for comparison. So she doesn't think I'm your sister."

"Oh." Lacy grinned. "That would be highly awkward. For several reasons."

"Shush, you." Jaime elbowed her back.

Holly was now completely confused, and it apparently showed on her face.

"Oh, poor dear," cooed Lacy. "You've quite lost her, darling."

"I lost her? You're the one who started the whole-"

"Okay, basically all the gods exist, and it's really awesome because we get cool powers, except not all of us do, like all Jaime does is make bad holograms, but that's better than me because I can't do anything, I'm a bit of a failure as daughters of Aphrodite go, I mean, look at me, I've got braces for Olympus' sake, but anyway, it's super amazing and you're probably one too and if not well OOOPS." She stopped suddenly, looking as if she was wondering whether or not to be worried about spilling the beans, and then apparently decided against it.

"Could you say that again, more slowly?" Holly asked.

Lacy nodded enthusiastically, but it was Jaime who answered. "Have you heard of Greek mythology?"

"Yes," Holly lied. This is interesting. I wonder what Foaly is thinking.

"Great. This is going to sound crazy, but the gods exist. And they have kids. It's a good thing they aren't judged by the Christian God, because they'd all be in Hell for adultery if so. They really like to sleep around with mortals. So much so that there's two entire camps for their children, us, the halfbloods. Although one is for the Romans- ours is the Greek one." She paused to see if Holly was still with her. "And it seems like you're a halfblood. Normal people can't heal themselves with magic blue spark things."

Frowning, Holly nodded. "Okay."

This seemed to surprise the two girls.

"Really?" said Lacy, "You believe us?"

"Why not?" Holly started to improvise. "It would explain an awful lot. Once I saw a, um, a guy in the ocean who I'm pretty sure had a fish tail." Fingers crossed for mermaids existing. Please...

Jaime and Lacy seemed to buy it. "That sort of thing happens a lot to halfbloods," said Jaime.

"So do you wanna come with us back to camp?" Lacy asked.

"Just like that?"

"Well, you might want to talk to your parents first..."

"I don't have any," Holly invented. "They went on a hiking trip in Laos once and never came back."

"Oh," said Lacy after a moment's silence. "That sucks."

"Yes." Holly replied evenly, feeling slightly guilty about manipulating the girls into feeling sorry for her. "But I'm mostly over it now. I'd love to go to this camp."

Lacy grinned, and Jaime gave a small smile.

See what I would've missed, Foaly, if I'd called Trouble right away? The centaur had been strangely absent for the last few minutes, and he didn't reply now.

"Great," said the daughter of Iris, "Lace, let's bring her home."


I'm going to try to update once every two weeks. I'm going to try to make each chapter 1.5k words or more.

Anyway, here you go! Please please please pleeeaaase review! Tell me what you think, what you want to see! The plot is pretty open at this point. Mainly it's about resolving stuff from the last book and bringing various characters together. So any request, especially if it's minor, had a good chance of carrying some weight. Unless it's "please stop putting LGBTQ+ characters in your writing, it's gross". I got a review a few months ago complaining about Nico and Percy stuff, and so I got annoyed and wrote in Jaime. If you're homophobic, you're reading the wrong fanfiction. It's not only slash, but the more intolerant complaints I get, the more slash relationships will pop up.

Adios for now,