Ares began to read.

The Golden age of Cannibalism

"I feel like some one is being biased." Annabeth said teasingly. "Cannibalism is defined as eating someone of their own race."

AT FIRST, KRONOS WASN 'T SO BAD.

"Really?" Jason asked sarcastically.

He had to work his way up to being a complete slime bucket.

"Every slime bucket has to work their way up to be a slime bucket." Artemis stated.

He released the Elder Cyclopes and the Hundred-Handed Ones from Tartarus, which made Gaea happy.

"At least he has done one good thing in his life." Hestia said.

"Only to throw them back in Tartarus." Zeus scowled.

The monstrous guys turned out to be useful, too.

"They're excellent tinkerers." Hephaestus said.

They had spent all their time in the abyss learning how to forge metal and build with stone (I guess that's pretty much all there was to do),

"Some of us have productive ways to spend our hours of loneliness." Hephaestus said.

"Are you feeling lonely?" Aphrodite asked seductively. Ares gave a look full of jealousy at Hephaestus.

"Thanks, but no thanks." Hephaestus whispered bitterly.

so in gratitude for their freedom, they constructed a massive palace for Kronos on top of Mount Othrys, which back then was the tallest mountain in Greece.

"Waste of their energy." Athena said.

The palace was made from void-black marble. Towering columns and vast halls gleamed in the light of magical torches.

"Somewhat attractive. I should make a miniature version of it in front of Zeus's castle." Annabeth said.

"Don't you dare!" Zeus snarled, touching his master bolt.

Kronos's throne was carved from a solid block of obsidian, inlaid with gold and diamonds—which sounds impressive, but probably wasn't very comfortable.

"I assure you Percy Jackson, the Hekatonkires and elder Cyclopes are the best. They probably made it comfortable." Hephaestus said.

That didn't matter to Kronos.

"Why?" Frank asked.

He could sit there all day, surveying the entire world below him, cackling evilly, "Mine! All mine!"

"Might have been his favourite hobby, aside from cuddling with his Scythe." Piper joked.

His five Titan brothers and six Titan sisters didn't argue with him.

"No one in their right mind argues with a crazy sycopath." Hermes said.

They had pretty much staked out their favorite territories already—and besides, after seeing Kronos wield that scythe, they didn't want to get on his bad side.

"Well reasoned." Apollo said.

In addition to being king of the cosmos, Kronos became the Titan of time.

"And the titan of harvest." Grover pointed out.

He couldn't pop around the time stream like Doctor Who or anything,

"That would have been a disaster." Poseidon said. "If he did, then we would have been lost before the beginning of war."

"You know who doctor who is?" Athena asked. She was mildly surprised.

"Just watched some with Sally." Poseidon shrugged. Percy was lost in thoughts for few minutes.

but he could occasionally make time slow down or speed up.

"Wow! That's awesome too." Leo blurted out. Then he was met with glares of certain five gods and goddesses. Then he had this sudden interest of watching his feet.

Whenever you're in an incredibly boring lecture that seems to take forever, blame Kronos.

"Or Zeus." Poseidon suggested, and his fellow Olympians nodded. Zeus pouted.

Or when your weekend is way too short, that's Kronos's fault, too.

"One cannot simply grasp the art of torturing." Leo said.

He was especially interested in the destructive power of time. Being immortal, he couldn't believe what a few short years could do to a mortal life. Just for kicks, he used to travel around the world, fast-forwarding the lives of trees, plants, and animals so he could watch them wither and die.

"That's horrible!" Hestia exclaimed. Artemis nodded in agreement.

He never got tired of that.

"Another hobby for the list of Kronos' favourite hobbies." Nico joked.

As for his brothers, the four who helped with the murder of Ouranos were given the four corners of the earth—which is weird, since the Greeks thought the world was a big flat circle like a shield, so it didn't really have corners, but whatever.

Annabeth slapped Percy on the back of his head.

"Wha- why?" Percy asked.

"That's the only known way to control your seaweed brainness." Annabeth said.

Krios was the Titan of the south. He took the ram for his symbol, since the ram constellation rose in the southern sky. His navy blue armor was dotted with stars. Ram's horns jutted from his helmet.

"Had the most boring jobs ever." Hades said in a gloomy mood.

Krios was the dark, silent type. He would stand down there at the southern edge of world, watching the constellations and thinking deep thoughts—or maybe he was just thinking he should have requested a more exciting job.

"Couldn't agree with you more, dad!" Nico said.

"Silent dark type is sexy." Aphrodite commented.

Koios, the Titan of the north, lived at the opposite end of the world (obviously).

"Grandpa!" Apollo and Artemis said together.

He was sometimes called Polus, because he controlled the northern pole.

"So he is like, god of Polar bears?" Frank asked.

This was way before Santa Claus moved in.

"Nah. Santa Claus is secretly Koios. Mom said so." Apollo said sarcastically.

Koios was also the first Titan to have the gift of prophecy.

"Like son, like grandfather." Hermes commented.

In fact, Koios literally means question. He could ask questions of the sky, and sometimes the sky would whisper answers. Creepy?

"Well, he asks questions from dead people, he and death boy can relate." Percy said.

Yes. I don't know if he was communing with the spirit of Ouranos or what, but his glimpses of the future were so useful that other Titans started asking him burning questions

"Burning? Where?" Leo asked.

Artemis gave a look at Hephaestus like 'Why did you gave him fire powers'.

like: What's the weather going to be on Saturday? Is Kronos going to kill me today? What should I wear to Rhea's dance? That kind of thing. Eventually Koios would pass down the gift of prophecy to his children.

Crowd broke into laughter. "No wonder why he passed the gift to Apollo." Hermes said. "Can you tell of those things, Apollo?" He asked. Apollo rolled eyes at him.

Hyperion, Titan of the east, was the flashiest of the four.

"Not as flashy as me!" Apollo declared.

Since the light of day came from the east every morning, he called himself the Lord of Light.

"Is he Dumbledore?" Leo asked.

"Dumbledore never claimed he is the lord of light or leader of light whatsoever. You were reading those Dumbledore bashing fanfictions way too much." Hazel said.

"Plus, last time I saw him, he never had a waist long white beard and hair, or twinkling blue eyes." Percy added.

Behind his back, everybody else called him Kronos Lite, because he did whatever Kronos told him, and was basically like Kronos with half the calories and none of the taste.

"That term never existed then, but I guess you're right." Athena said.

Anyway, he wore blazing golden armor and was known to burst into flames at random moments, which made him fun at parties.

"He's just like Leo!" Piper commented. Leo gave his best 'I'm offended' look.

His counterpart, Iapetus,

Nico, Annabeth and Percy smiled sadly. They missed their friend Bob the good titan. However Hades looked a bit unnerved, he remembered making the titan a janitor.

was more laid-back, being the Titan of the west.

"More like me." Poseidon grinned.

A good sunset always makes you want to kick back and chill.

"Sunsets are good for romantic picnics." Aphrodite whispered dreamily.

Despite that, you didn't want to get this guy mad at you. He was an excellent fighter who knew how to use a spear. Iapetus literally means the Piercer, and I'm pretty sure he didn't get that name by doing ear-piercings at the mall.

"He gave me some serious wounds." Zeus commented.

As for the last brother, Oceanus, he took charge of the outer waters that circled the world.

"The oceans." Poseidon said, he was tightly clutching his trident.

That's how the big expanses of water bordering the earth came to be called oceans. It could have been worse.

"How so?" Nico asked curiously.

If Iapetus had taken over the waters, today we'd be talking about the Atlantic Iapet and sailing the iapet blue, and that just doesn't have the same ring to it.

"Now thinking about it-" Poseidon started. "How about talking about Atlantic idon or sailing Idon blue?"

"That..does have a ring!" Percy said.

"You're just being biased, seaweed brain." Annabeth said, slapping his arm.

Now, before I turn to the six lady Titans, let me get some nasty business out of the way.

"Nasty business? I'm born to deal with nasty business." Ares said, not taking his eyes out of the book.

See, eventually the guy Titans started thinking, Hey, Dad had Gaea for a wife. Who are we going to have for wives? Then they looked at the lady Titans and thought, Hmm…

"Oh!" Ares mumbled. "I think that sort of nasty business belongs in Aphrodite's area."

I know. You're screaming, GROSS! The brothers wanted to marry their own sisters?!

"Nah. We have living examples right in this very palace." Apollo said sarcastically.

Yeah. I find that pretty disgusting myself, but here's the thing: Titans didn't see family relationships the same way we do.

"Or gods." Annabeth corrected.

First off, like I said before, the rules of behavior were a lot looser back then.

"Way too loose for my favour." Artemis said.

Also, there weren't many choices when it came to marriage partners.

"Oh." Aphrodite mumbled. "I guess so."

You couldn't simply log into and find your perfect soul mate.

" ? Hahahaa!" Nico bursted into a heavy fit of laughter, and in the end he coughed. Hazel patted him on back way too hard.

Most important, immortals are just different from humans. They live forever, more or less. They have cool powers. They have ichor instead of blood and DNA, so they aren't concerned about bloodlines not mixing well. Because of that, they don't see the whole brother-sister thing in the same way. You and the girl you like might have been born of the same mom, but once you grew up and you were both adults, you wouldn't necessarily think of her as your sister anymore.

"Good explanation." Athena praised Percy. "Maybe the sea spawn has some hope after all."

That's my theory. Or maybe the Titans were all just freaks. I'll let you decide.

"Then Zeus is a freak too!" Hades said.

Anyway, not all the brothers married all the sisters, but here's the rundown.

The oldest girl was Theia.

"Titaness of clear sight and heavenly light." Apollo said. "Don't ask me, I have to deal with light deities like Theia and Eos."

If you wanted her attention, all you had to do was wave something shiny in her face. She loved sparkly things and bright scenic views.

"Wow, nice dating advice, Percy!" Leo said.

Every morning she would dance with happiness when daylight returned.

"So Apollo has a chance with her?" Hermes asked jokingly.

She would climb mountains just so she could see for miles around.

"Climbing mountains isn't big deal for titans though." Frank pointed out. "They can just teleport."

She would even delve underground and bring out precious gems, using her magic powers to make them gleam and sparkle.

"And the reason why Hades is so rich!" Poseidon said. Hades simply smirked.

Theia is the one who gave gold its luster and made diamonds glitter.

Hades sighed dreamily. He could totally memorise the wealth he has in downstairs.

She became the Titan of clear sight. Because she was all about bright and glittery, she ended up marrying Hyperion, the lord of light.

"Man, you would have a greater chance if you were born in that era." Hermes said to Apollo. "She would totally like your flashing grin."

As you can imagine, they got along great, though how they got any sleep with Hyperion glowing all night and Theia giggling, "Shiny! Shiny!" I don't know.

"That's why I don't date her." Apollo replied. "She can be...annoying sometimes.

Her sister Themis? Totally different.

Zeus sighed. Hera glared at him.

She was quiet and thoughtful and never tried to draw attention to herself, always wearing a simple white shawl over her hair. She realized from an early age that she had a natural sense of right and wrong. She understood what was fair and what wasn't.

"Reason 102 why Zeus and Themis got along." Aphrodite cooed. "Zeus is the god of justice!"

Whenever she was in doubt, she claimed that she could draw wisdom straight from the earth.

"I don't think she meant Gaea." Athena stated.

I don't think she meant from Gaea,

Athena rolled her eyes and slapped her forehead. She couldn't believe she was turning into one of Poseidon's sons.

though, because Gaea wasn't really hung up on right and wrong.

"The sense of right and wrong vanishes if someone faced situations like me." Suddenly, a sleepy voice grumbled. The gods tightened their holds of weapons. Percy took the riptide out. Jason sword was ready in his hands. Frank turned into a boar. Annabeth, Piper and Hazel stood back to back, ready to charge. Jason had his sword right in his hand.

And then, Hermes and Apollo broke into snickers. Then gods and demigods too, broke into laughter recognizing it was a prank.

Anyway, Themis had a good reputation among her brothers and sisters. She could mediate even the worst arguments. She became the Titan of natural law and fairness. She didn't marry any of her six brothers, which just proves how wise she was.

"Like me." Athena declared.

Third sister: Tethys,

"These T s are so annoying. Don't say the next sister was Thalia or something." Leo complained.

Then he dodged an arrow. "What?" He looked at Thalia.

"I'm right here!" Thalia warned.

Leo was genuinely angry, he never meant this Thalia. Next second, Leo shot a fire ball at Thalia. And the next minute, Artemis turned him into a Jackelope, and then she found out her throne is on fire.

Hephaestus glared at Artemis. "My son is not a play toy for your little huntresses. Turn him back."

"Or what? You're just a cripple!" Artemis insulted.

Hephaestus sneered at her. "You want to experience your first ride of your throne?"

There was a silence.

"Fine." Artemis sighed and turned Leo back. Leo said nothing and glared at Artemis.

and I promise this is the last "T" name for the girls, because even I'm getting confused.

"Good." Nico said. "It was messing with my brain too."

She loved rivers, springs, and fresh running water of any kind.

"She is the mother of river gods. What do you expect?" Poseidon asked.

She was very kind, always offering her siblings something to drink, though the others got tired of hearing that the average Titan needs twenty-four large glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.

"The heck?" Apollo asked, " Average titan needs to drink twenty four glasses of water per a day? Who made this up?" Then Apollo felt like slapping himself.

Percy grinned like a mad man. "Me!"

At any rate, Tethys thought of herself as the nursemaid for the whole world,

"Another contestant for the competition: Apollo's bride!" Hermes announced.

"Nursemaids are hot Apollo. I know from the experience." Poseidon winked.

since all living things need to drink. She ended up marrying Oceanus, which was kind of a no-brainer. "Hey, you like water? I like water too! We should totally go out!"

"That's not that bad! Somehow they had some similarities!" Piper said sarcastically.

Phoebe, the fourth sister,

"Grandma!" Apollo said, and Artemis whispered.

lived right in the geographic center of the world, which for the Greeks meant the Oracle of Delphi—a sacred spring where you could sometimes hear whispers of the future if you knew how to listen.

"But how?" Frank asked.

"Ask the specialist." Percy pointed at Apollo.

"That's a secret.." Apollo flashed a smile.

The Greeks called this place the omphalos, literally the belly button of the earth,

"Innie or outie?" Leo asked, who had just recovered from his anger issues.

though they never specified whether it was an innie or an outie.

"Right! So I can imagine it as whatever belly button I want." Leo mumbled.

Phoebe was one of the first people to figure out how to hear the voices of Delphi, but she wasn't a gloomy, mysterious sort of fortune-teller.

"That's because fortune telling needed few patch ups." Nico piped up.

Her name meant bright, and she always looked on the positive side of things.

"That's some good attitude." Frank praised.

Her prophecies tended to be like fortune cookies—only good stuff.

"Fortune cookies!" Aphrodite squealed.

Which was fine, I guess, if you only wanted to hear good news, but not so great if you had a serious problem.

"Why is that?" Jason asked.

Like if you were going to die tomorrow, Phoebe might just tell you, "Oh, um, I foresee that you won't have to worry about your math test next week!"

"Seriously, Seaweed brain?" Annabeth asked, wondering about the future of her amazing boyfriend.

Phoebe ended up marrying Koios, the northern dude, because he also had the gift of prophecy.

"Hey, you have the gift of prophecy? Me too. We should totally go out." Piper said in her best Percy voice.

Unfortunately, they only saw each other once in a while since they lived very far apart.

"Another example for distant relationships works!" Aphrodite said. Then she conjured a scoreboard. Percy: 1, Aphrodite: 2

Bonus fact:much later, Phoebe's grandson, a guy named Apollo, took over the Oracle.

Apollo made a pose.

Because he inherited her powers, Apollo was sometimes called Phoebus Apollo.

"Nah. That's not it. Arty is called Pheobe Artemis yet she can't see future a teeny weeny bit!" Apollo said sarcastically.

"Don't call me Arty." Artemis threatned.

Titan sister five was Mnemosyne—and, man, with my dyslexia I had to spell check that name about twenty times, and it's probably still wrong.

"Dyslexia is the worst!" Nico said.

Pretty sure it's pronounced NEMO-sign.

"Fun fact, you can't say Nemo-sign without saying Emo." Leo said. Then he looked at Nico teasingly. Nico rolled his eyes at Leo.

Anyway, Mnemosyne was born with a photographic memory long before anyone knew what a photograph was.

"At that time, they called it an autographic memory." Hazel whispered secretively.

Seriously, she remembered everything—her sisters' birthdays, her homework, putting out the garbage, feeding the cats.

"That is handy." Jason said.

In some ways, that was good.

"At least I didn't say his exact words." Jason defended himself.

She kept the family records and never ever forgot anything.

"I sense a but here." Frank said.

But in some ways, having her around was a drag, because she would never let you forget anything.

"She and Athena can get along that way." Poseidon said.

That embarrassing thing you did when you were eight years old? Yep, she remembered. That promise you made three years ago that you would pay her back that loan? She remembered.

"Seems like she was a major pest." Dionysus drawled.

What was worse, Mnemosyne expected everybody else to have a good memory too.

"It seems you have a long lost sister, niece." Demeter said, biting an apple.

Athena rolled her eyes.

Just to be helpful, she invented letters and writing so the rest of us poor schmucks who didn't have perfect recall could keep permanent records of everything.

"So, we have Nemo-sign to blame all about school and tests?" Leo asked. "Shut it!" Annabeth and Athena hissed in union.

She became the Titan of memory, especially rote memorization. Next time you have to study for a spelling test or memorize the capitals of all fifty states for no apparent reason, thank Mnemosyne.

"We will keep that in mind." Jason said.

That kind of assignment was totally her idea. None of her fellow Titans wanted to marry her. Go figure.

"I think her soulmate is Athena. That's why she became a virgin goddess." Aphrodite theorised.

"Are you barking mad, Aphrodite?" Athena asked.

"That's my job." Dionysus said and Athena rolled her eyes at him.

"Nemo and Athena sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G" Apollo began to sing while playing his lyre, but stopped it receiving a glare from Athena.

"I ship it." Zeus boomed. "Mnemona!"

"Father, you too?" Athena asked. "Ughh!"

Finally, there was sister number six: Rhea.

"Mom!" Six elder Olympians whispered, their voices were suddenly fill with happiness.

Poor Rhea. She was the sweetest and most beautiful of the lady Titans, which of course meant she had the worst luck and the hardest life.

"It always does." Aphrodite said with a sad voice.

Her name either means flow or ease.

"Fitting names." Demeter said.

Both definitions fit. She always went with the flow, and she totally put people at ease.

"Indeed." The other siblings agreed.

She would wander the valleys of the earth, visiting her brothers and sisters, talking to the nymphs and satyrs who had sprung from the blood of Ouranos. She loved animals, too. Her favorite was the lion. If you see pictures of Rhea, she almost always has a couple of lions with her, which made it very safe for her to walk around, even in the worst neighborhoods.

"She and Hestia seems alike." Piper commented. Hestia couldn't help but smile at that.

Rhea became the Titan of motherhood. She adored babies and always helped her sisters during their deliveries. Eventually she would earn the title the Great Mother when she had kids of her own.

"That would be us!" Zeus said.

Unfortunately, she had to get married before any of that happened,

"To another jerk of a male." Artemis stated.

which is how all the trouble started….Oh, but everything was so great! What could possibly go wrong?

"Everything." Thalia whispered.

That's what the Earth Mother Gaea thought.

"Well, she is wrong." Nico said.

"Can primordials break a curse from another primordial?" Athena asked.

"It can be possible." Zeus said.

"Why don't you ask your dear Nemo-sign?" Demeter teased. Athena ignored her.

"So, Gaea could have break the curse but she didn't. And she knows there's a curse because she was there." Athena said.

"I think she wanted to break Kronos' family life." Aphrodite intervened. "She never had a good family life with Ouranos, I think she was jealous. I think this is why she wants destroy us Olympians. Because no matter how powerful Gaea is, we have something what she ever didn't have. A family." Aphrodite said.

"That makes sense." Athena agreed with her rival goddess. "You know, I just thought about you as a dumb idiot who only likes fashions and other things, but now, I think you can understand things better than us sometimes."

"And you're forgiven, Athena." Aphrodite assured.

She was so pleased to see her kids in charge of the world, she decided to sink back down into the earth for a while and just be, well…the earth.

"Like me when my duty time is over. But she can rest whenever she likes." Apollo stated.

She'd been through a lot. She'd had eighteen kids. She deserved a rest.

"Yes, she did." Dionysus said.

She was sure Kronos would take care of things and be a good king forever and ever.

"Yeah, right." Thalia said sarcastically.

(Yeah, right.)

Thalia was suddenly interestes in her feet.

So she lay down for a quick nap, which in geological terms meant a few millennia.

"Time is different for immortals." Poseidon nodded.

Meanwhile, the Titans started having kids of their own, who were second-generation Titans.

"Mommy titans and daddy titans began to have second generation titans, aren't they?" Leo asked.

Oceanus and Tethys, Mr. & Mrs. Water, had a daughter named Klymene, who became the Titan goddess of fame.

"Bob's wife." Annabeth whispered to Nico, who nodded.

I'm guessing she was into fame because she grew up at the bottom of the ocean where nothing ever happened. She was all about gossip and reading the tabloids and catching up on the latest Hollywood news…or she would've been, if Hollywood existed.

"She is like Aphrodite then?" Zeus said.

Like a lot of folks who are obsessed with fame, she headed west.

"I don't think L.A. existed then." Thalia said.

She ended up falling for the Titan of the west, Iapetus.

"She is Bob's wife then?" Jason asked.

I know, he was technically her uncle.

"Disgusting!" Artemis said.

Disgusting.

Artemis felt like she is about to vomit.

But like I said before, the Titans were different. My advice is not to think about it too much.

"Ok Percy, we're taking your advise." Jason said.

Anyway, Iapetus and Klymene had a son named Atlas,

Annabeth, Grover, Percy and Thalia groaned. Artemis scowled.

who turned out to be an excellent fighter,and also kind of a jerk.

"True." Artemis said. "He may be a jerk, but I only survived against him the second time because of the weight of sky." She admitted.

"Did I hear it right? Armetus just accepted one of her many weaknesses?" Dionysus asked.

Artemis glowered at him.

When he grew up, he became Kronos's right-hand man and main enforcer.

"Figures." Nico muttered.

Next, Iapetus and Klymene had a son named Prometheus, who was almost as clever as Kronos.

"Prometheus is cleverer than him." Hestia said.

According to some legends, Prometheus invented a minor life form you may have heard of—humans.

"Ah, yes. One of the most important minor life form." Zeus said.

One day he was just messing around at the riverbank, building stuff out of wet clay, when he sculpted a couple of funny-looking figures similar to Titans, only much smaller and easier to smash. Maybe some blood of Ouranos got into the clay, or maybe Prometheus breathed life into the figures on purpose—I don't know. But the clay creatures came to life and became the first two humans.

"That's why he made a clay puppet in our meeting between the war, and slammed it. How original?" Grover wondered.

Did Prometheus get a medal for that?

"Nah!" Nico said.

Nah.

Nico shook his head. Maybe he ate too much happy meals

The Titans looked on humans the way we might look on gerbils.

"They aren't alone." Hera muttered.

Some Titans thought humans were kind of cute, though they died awfully quick and didn't really serve any purpose. Other Titans thought they were repulsive rodents. Some Titans didn't pay them any attention at all. As for the humans, they mostly just cowered in their caves and scurried around trying not to get stepped on.

"That's actually bad. Humans are complex just like us gods, they have thought to think for themselves. They aren't some animals." Hermes pointed out.

The Titans kept having more baby Titans. I won't mention all of them or we'll be here for as long as Gaea napped,

"I'm relieved." Piper said.

but Koios and Phoebe, the prophecy couple, had a girl named Leto,

"Mother!" Apollo and Artemis beamed.

who decided she wanted to be the Titan protector of the young. She was the world's first babysitter. All the dad and mom Titans were really happy to see her.

"I suppose so." Hades said.

Hyperion and Theia, Mr. & Mrs. Shiny, had twins named Helios and Selene,

Apollo and Artemis looked somewhat unnerved.

who were in charge of the sun and the moon. Makes sense, right? You can't get much shinier than the sun and the moon.

"Yes, you can. The light itself. Aether." Annabeth whispered.

Helios would drive the chariot of the sun across the sky every day, even though it got terrible mileage. Helios thought he looked pretty hot, and he had an annoying habit of calling the sun his "chick magnet."

"Chick magnet? That's not bad." Apollo said. "But I can't name my ride after that, can't I? I'm a total chick magnet myself." He boasted.

Selene wasn't quite so flashy. She drove her silver moon chariot across the sky at night and mostly kept to herself, though the one time she did fall in love, it was the saddest story ever.

"Is that why you don't love anyone?" Aphrodite asked Artemis teasingly.

Artemis' response was a glare, and turning her back to Aphrodite.

But that's for any rate, one particular Titan wasn't getting married or having kids…

"Kronos." Everyone guessed.

namely Kronos, the lord of the universe.

"Curse of Ouranos." Frank said.

He just sat on his throne in the palace of Mount Othrys and got very, very grumpy watching everyone else have a good time.

"I thought I would never say this, but I feel sad for father." Hera said, for the surprise for everyone.

Remember that curse Ouranos warned him about—that someday Kronos's own kids would overthrow him? Kronos couldn't get that out of his head.

"Like Zeus, when he gulped Metis." Poseidon said.

At first he told himself, Well, no biggie. I just won't get married or have kids!

"He opened his big mouth." Leo said. However, five elder Olympians shuddered at the thought of Kronos' big mouth.

But it's a pain to be on your own when everyone around you is settling down and starting families. Kronos had earned the throne fair and square, but that curse took all the fun out of chopping up his dad.

"Like they say, Karma is a female dog." Piper said.

Now he had to worry about getting overthrown while everyone else got to enjoy the good life. Uncool.

"Totally uncool." Jason said.

His relatives didn't visit him much anymore. Once Gaea went back into the earth, they stopped coming by the palace for Sunday dinner.

"Ickle twitans scawed of big bawd Kwonows?" Leo asked.

They said they were busy, but Kronos suspected that his brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews were simply scared of him.

"Excuses, excuses-" Apollo hummed, playing his Lyre.

He did have his father's temper and sense of cruelty. His scythe was intimidating. Plus, he had the slightly off-putting tendency to scream, "I'll kill you all!" whenever someone made him mad.

"He sounds cool." Ares said.

But was that his fault?

"Kinda." Piper said.

One morning he really snapped. He woke up to a Cyclops hammering on a piece of bronze right outside his bedroom window. Seven in the morning, on a weekend!

"Holy Hera!" Leo gasped. Hera raised an eyebrow at him.

Kronos had promised his mom he would free the Elder Cyclopes and the Hundred-Handed Ones from Tartarus, but he was getting really tired of his ugly relatives.

Hephaestus growled.

They'd become more and more disgusting as they grew up. They smelled like Porta Potties.

"Seaweed brain!" Annabeth scolded, but she couldn't help but giggle.

They had, like, zero personal hygiene,and they were constantly making noise—building things, hammering metal, cutting stone. They'd been useful for building the palace, but now they were just annoying.

"You can't get rid of your relatives just because they're ugly and annoying." Hestis said.

Kronos called Atlas and Hyperion and a couple of his other goons. They rounded up the Cyclopes and Hundred-Handed Ones and told them they were going for a nice drive in the country to look at wildflowers.

"They probably did not.-" Grover tried to say, but Percy cut him to it. "I just made it up!" He singsonged.

Then they jumped the poor guys, wrapped them in chains again, and tossed them back into Tartarus.

"Harsh. Way too harsh." Piper said.

If Gaea woke up, she wouldn't be happy—but so what? Kronos was the king now. Mom would just have to deal with it.

"He needs some attitude adjustment." Hera said.

Things were much quieter at the palace after that, but Kronos still had a major case of the grumpies. It wasn't fair that he couldn't have a girlfriend.

"Considering all, it isn't fair." Hermes said.

In fact, he had a particular girl in mind. Secretly, he had a crush on Rhea.

"Creep alert, mom!" Poseidon warned.

She was gorgeous. Every time the Titan family got together, Kronos stole glances at her. If he noticed any of the other guys flirting with her, he would pull them aside for a private conversation with his scythe in hand, and warn them never to do it again.

"That's kind of romantic, I guess." Piper said.

He loved how Rhea laughed. Her smile was brighter than Helios's chick magnet…uh, I mean the sun. He loved the way her dark curly hair swept her shoulders. Her eyes were as green as meadows, and her lips…well, Kronos dreamed about kissing those lips.

"Your boyfriend has a good imagination and a sense of romance." Aphrodite said to Annabeth as a praise.

Also, Rhea was sweet and kind and everyone loved her. Kronos thought: If I just had a wife like that, my family wouldn't fear me as much. They'd come to the palace more often. Rhea would teach me to be a better Titan. Life would be awesome!

"If only that happened!" Hades drawled.

But another part of him thought, No! I can't get married, because of that stupid curse! Kronos grumbled in frustration.

"Had Gaea broke the curse, his life would have been better." Aphrodite commented.

He was the king of the freaking universe! He could do whatever he wanted! Maybe Ouranos had just been messing with him and there was no curse. Or maybe he would get lucky and he wouldn't have kids.

"Just like Zeus! Just like Zeus!" Poseidon chuckled.

Note to self: If you're trying not to have kids, don't marry a lady who is the Titan of motherhood.

"No we're good, we want to have kids." Leo said.

Kronos tried to restrain himself, but finally he couldn't stand it any longer. He invited Rhea to a romantic dinner and poured out his feelings. He proposed to her on the spot.

"He does know the way to court a lady! I'm surprised!" Apollo joked.

Now, I don't know if Rhea loved the guy or not.

"She did." Zeus said. "Until the swallowing of his own children."

If she didn't, I imagine she was too afraid to say so. This was Kronos the Crooked One, after all—the dude who had killed their dad. The king of the freaking universe.

"That he was." Poseidon agreed.

It didn't help that the whole time they ate dinner, his scythe was resting on a hook on the wall right behind him, its blade gleaming in the candlelight like it was still covered in golden ichor.

" Kroscythe!" Piper piped up.

Rhea agreed to marry she thought she could make him into a better guy. Maybe Kronos believed that, too.

"But she couldn't." Hestia said sadly.

They had a nice honeymoon. A few weeks later, when Kronos heard that (surprise, surprise) Rhea was expecting their first child, he tried to convince himself everything was fine.

"Kronos is paying the price for trying to escape the fate." Apollo said.

He was happy!

"Really?" Leo asked sarcastically.

He would never be a bad father like Ouranos. It didn't matter if the baby was a boy Titan or a girl Titan. Kronos would love him or her and forget all about that old curse.

"Alas, we were gods." The elder Olympians said.

Then the kid was born—a beautiful baby girl.

"Me." Hestia smiled.

Rhea had been secretly worried her child might turn out to be a Cyclops or a Hundred-Handed One. Maybe Kronos had been stressing about that, too. But nope. The child was perfect. In fact, she was a little too perfect.

"Its matter of the size. Gods are smaller than titans, because of that, they became more powerful than titans." Annabeth said.

Rhea named her Hestia. She swaddled the baby in soft blankets and showed her to her proud papa.

"Proud?" Zeus scoffed.

At first, Kronos smiled. The kid was not a monster—sweet!

"I remember him." Hestia said sadly. "He was smiling at me warmly. He said "I'm your father" and he softly kissed me on forehead. Then something snapped in him. Then he-" Hestia stopped. "Then he opened his mouth and swallowed me in."

"You never said that!" Poseidon said.

"You weren't listening to me anyway." Hestia said sadly.

But as he tickled her chin and looked into her eyes and made the usual cute goo-goo noises, Kronos realized Hestia wasn't exactly a Titan.

"Oh boy!" Nico muttered.

She was smaller than a Titan baby, but heavier and perfectly proportioned. Her eyes were much too intelligent for a newborn. She radiated power. With Kronos's understanding of time, he could easily envision what this girl would look like when she grew up. She would be smaller than a Titan, but capable of great things. She would surpass any Titan at whatever she chose to do.

"Had he not seen what would be happen-" Hestia started.

"Zeus would still chop him up, out of his greed." Hades said, intervening her.

Hestia was like an improved version of the Titans—Titan 2.0, the Next Big Thing.

"Titan 2.0?" Hermes laughed like a mad man.

In fact, she wasn't a Titan at all. She was a goddess—the first member of an entirely new branch of immortal at her, Kronos felt like an old cell phone staring at the latest model smartphone. He knew his days were numbered.

"Did they have calendars those days?" Hazel wondered.

His proud papa smile faded.

"Oh no!" Thalia exclaimed dramatically.

This kid could not be allowed to grow up, or the prophecy of Ouranos would come true. Kronos had to act fast.

Everyone shook their heads at what's going to happen.

He knew Rhea would never agree to have her child killed, and she'd brought those stupid lions with her as usual. He couldn't have a fight in the throne room. Besides, he couldn't reach for his scythe while holding the baby. He had to get rid of Hestia immediately and irreversibly.

"I don't think he intended us to be killed before Zeus chopped him up." Hestia said. "If he did, he would have killed us as babies anyway. He is called the crooked one not for nothing."

The others were silent. After all, Hestia had a point.

He opened his mouth—super, super wide, wider than he even realized he could. His lower jaw was hinged like on one of those massive snakes that can eat a cow. He stuffed Hestia in his mouth and swallowed her whole.

Hestia made a noise.

Just like: GULP. She was gone.

As you can imagine, Rhea completely freaked.

"Who wouldn't?" Hera mumbled.

"My baby!" she screamed. "You—you just—""Oh, wow." Kronos belched. "My bad. Sorry."

"He gets more and more disgusting because of this biased narrator, Penelope Jefferson." Dionysus said.

Percy glared at Dionysus, who was already drinking some wine.

Rhea's eyes bugged out. She screamed some more. She would have launched herself at Kronos and pummeled him with her fists, or ordered her lions to attack, but she was afraid of hurting the baby that was now stuck inside him.

"Nah. Kronos would have teared her apart." Ares said.

"Cough her up!" Rhea demanded."Can't," Kronos said. "I have this super-strong stomach. Once something goes down, it doesn't come back up."

"Something that Zeus learned from father. Reasoning to wife." Poseidon said.

"How could you swallow her?" she shouted. "That was our child!""Yeah, about that…" Kronos tried to look apologetic. "Listen, babe, it wasn't going to work out with that kid.""Work out?""There was this curse." Kronos told her what Ouranos had prophesied. "I mean, come on, sweetcakes! That baby wasn't even a proper Titan. She was trouble, I could tell! The next kid will be better, I'm sure."

"And paranoia too. I guess you're working your way up to become a Kronos, Zeus." Hades said.

This sounded perfectly reasonable to Kronos, but for some reason Rhea wasn't satisfied. She stormed off in a rage. You'd think Rhea would never forgive him. I mean, your husband eats your firstborn child like a slider hamburger….Your typical mother isn't going to forget that.

"The situation is complicated here." Hera said.

But Rhea's situation was , Kronos had swallowed the baby Hestia whole. Hestia, like her parents, was technically immortal. She couldn't die, even inside her father's stomach. Gross in there? Yes. A little claustrophobic? You bet. But fatal? No.

"Actually, his stomach was a space where time was frozen. We were unaware of anything until Zeus rescued us." Demeter said.

She's still alive, Rhea consoled herself. I can find a way to get her back. That calmed her down a little, though she didn't have a plan. She couldn't use force to get her way. Rhea was a gentle goddess. Even if she tried to fight, most of the strongest Titans, like Hyperion and that big goon Atlas, would back Kronos up.

"Yep!" Piper said.

She couldn't risk a sneak attack with a knife or the scythe or even her lions, because that might hurt the baby.

"Yep!" Piper said again.

Maybe you're thinking, Wait a minute. If the kid is immortal, why is Rhea worried about hurting her?

"No need to tell us!" Hephaestus growled.

But, see, immortals can be hurt badly, crippled, or mutilated. An injury might not kill them, but they also don't always heal from damage. They just stay crippled forever. You'll see some examples of that later on. Rhea wasn't about to cut open Kronos and risk chopping up her baby, because being in pieces is no way to live, especially when you live forever.

"Reason no 1 why Kronos hates the gods." Hermes pointed out.

She couldn't divorce Kronos, because nobody had invented divorce yet.

"Even if, she would still be afraid to do so." Nico said.

And even if they had, Rhea would have been too scared to try.

"At least I haven't used his exact words." Nico said in relief.

Can you blame her? As you may have noticed, Kronos wasone crazy piece of work. Rhea had known that fact ever since he chopped up their dad with the scythe and then walked around the after-party in his ichor-stained shirt shouting, "Awesome murder, guys! High five!"

"That's scary!" Leo said.

She couldn't run, because Kronos was lord of the whole world. Unless she wanted to jump into Tartarus (which she didn't),

"And which she wouldn't. Tartarus is the worst." Annabeth said. All of them nodded in agreement.

there was no place to go. Her best bet was to stick it out, bide her time, and wait until she found a way to get Hestia back. Kronos tried to be nice to her. He bought her presents and took her out to dinner, as if that could make her forget about the baby in his stomach.

"His inner Ouranos is showing up." Poseidon said.

When Kronos thought enough time had passed—like three or four days—

"That's enough time? Say what?" Frank said, not believing his ears.

he insisted that they try to have more kids.

"Is he crazy?" Hazel asked.

"He just wants to see a baby titan." Piper said.

Why? Maybe he had a secret death wish. Maybe he became obsessed with Ouranos's prophecy and wanted to see if the next kid would be a proper Titan or one of those horrible, too-powerful, too perfect little gods.

"Its a too perfect little goddess, I'm afraid." Athena said.

So Rhea had another baby—a little girl even cuter than the first.

"I'm cuter than you!" Demeter sticked out her tongue at Hestia.

Rhea named her Demeter. Rhea dared to hope. Demeter was so adorable, maybe she would melt Kronos's heart. He couldn't possibly feel threatened by this little bundle of joy.

"But she wouldn't." Aphrodite said sadly.

Kronos took the child in his arms and saw right away that Demeter was another goddess. She glowed with an aura even more powerful than Hestia's. She was trouble with a capital tau. This time he didn't hesitate. He opened his jaws and swallowed her down. Cue the screaming fit from Mom. Cue the apologies.

The silence was thickening in the throne room. Demeter looked like she just aged up another millania.

Rhea was seriously tempted to call out her lions, but now the stakes were even higher. Kronos had two kids in there.

"Expecting you to say that." Nico said.

I know, you're thinking it must've been getting crowded in the Titan lord's gut. But gods are kind of flexible about their size. Sometimes they are huge. Sometimes they're no bigger than humans.I was not there in Kronos's stomach, thankfully, but I'm guessing the little immortal babies just made themselves small. They continued to mature, but they didn't get any bigger. They were like springs getting wound up tighter and tighter, hoping that someday they would get to burst out fully grown.

Hestia sighed. "Percy, its a space that time is stuck."

"This is my version." Percy said, putting his hands in sky.

And every day praying that Kronos wouldn't have hot sauce with his dinner.

"He wouldn't even know what sauce was." Piper said.

Poor Rhea. Kronos insisted they try again. "The next child will be better," he promised. "No more swallowing babies!"

"No promises-" Apollo sang.

The third kid? Also a girl. Rhea named her Hera, and she was the least Titan-ish, most godly yet. Rhea was indeed the Great Mother. In fact, she was a little too good at it. Every child she had was better and more powerful than the one before.

"The younger they're, more powerful they grow." Zeus said proudly.

Rhea didn't want to take little Hera to Kronos, but it was a tradition back then. Dad got to hold the baby. It was one of those natural laws that Themis always insisted on.

"This is why I hate tradition." Hermes said.

(There was also a natural law against eating your kids, but Themis was too afraid to mention that to Kronos.)

"Figures." Piper muttered.

And so Rhea mustered her courage. "My lord, may I present your daughter Hera."GULP.

"Even Kronos couldn't listen Hera's wailings." Dionysus said. Hera glared at him. "What? I just praised your pipes, and if you can't take that-" he shrugged.

This time, Rhea left the throne room without throwing a fit. She was too numb with pain and misery and disbelief. She had married a pathological liar who was also a murderer and a cannibal baby-eater.

"He's baby eater, but he isn't cannibal. Cannibal means a person who eats another person of his own species, gods and titans are two species." Annabeth said.

"Are you defending Kronos?" Percy asked.

"Just pointing out some facts. Your portrayal of Kronos is somewhat biased." Annabeth said.

Could things be any worse?

"Yes." Hazel said.

Oh, wait! He was also the king of the universe with lots of powerful henchmen, so she couldn't fight back or run . Things were more times she gave birth to perfect, lovely god babies.

"Us!" Poseidon and Hades said.

The fourth child was a boy named Hades. Rhea hoped Kronos would let him live, because every dad wants a son to play catch with right?

"Kronos and Hades playing catch? Nope, nope, nope!" Demeter said.

Nope. Down the hatch, matey!

"Have got any interest in poetry, Percy Jackson?" Apollo asked.

"Nah, just rhymed it." Percy smoothly slithered.

The fifth child was another boy, Poseidon. Same story. SNARF.

"Noo! Poor little me!" Poseidon dramatically wailed.

At this point, Rhea fled the palace. She wept and wailed and didn't know what to do. She went to her brothers and sisters, her nieces and nephews, anyone who would listen. She pleaded for help. The other Titans were either too scared of Kronos (like Themis), or they worked for Kronos (like Hyperion) and told her to stop whining.

"Poor mom!" Six elder Olympians said.

Finally Rhea visited her sister Phoebe at the Oracle of Delphi, but sadly even the Oracle had no advice for her. Rhea ran to the nearest meadow, threw herself on the ground, and began to cry. Suddenly she heard whispering from the earth. It was the voice of Gaea

"Second step of her plan." Athena muttered.

, who was still asleep; but even in her dreams the Earth Mother couldn't stand to hear the wailing of her lovely daughter. When you are ready to deliver your next child, Gaea's voice whispered, go to Crete to give birth! You will find help there! This child will be different! He will save the others!

"That would be me!" Zeus raised his master bolt and let out a thunder. Jason grinned madly.

"Drama queen." Poseidon muttered.

Rhea sniffled and tried to pull herself together. "Where is Crete?"

"In Italy." Nico said.

It's an island in the south, Gaea's voice said. You take the Ionian Sea down to, like, Kalamata. Then you turn left and—You know what? You'll find it.

"She sounds like Hades when he was bored." Athena said.

When the time came and Rhea started to get very big in the belly, she took a few deep breaths, composed herself, and waddled into the throne room."My lord Kronos," she said, "I am off to Crete. I will be back with the baby."

"Very smooth, mom." Poseidon said.

"Crete?" Kronos scowled. "Why Crete?"

"He surely was paranoid." Apolo said.

well," Rhea said, "you know how Koios and Phoebe sometimes have glimpses of the future?""Yeah?""I didn't want to spoil the surprise, but they prophesied that if I had this child in Crete, it would please you best of all! And of course, my lord, I am all about pleasing you!"

"How to identify that your wife is going to betray you? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, she acts extra pleasant! That's the most valuable lesson today!" Hermes said.

Kronos frowned. He was suspicious, but he also thought: Hey, I've eaten five kids, and Rhea is still here. If she were going to try something fishy, she would've done it , by now his thoughts were getting a little sluggish. He had five young gods shifting around in his gut, fighting for space, so he always felt like he'd just eaten a massive dinner and needed a nap.

"I don't think that would effect." Athena said. "But I do suspect that this is work of Gaea."

I mean, five gods in one stomach—dang. That's enough for doubles tennis, including a ref.

"I should make you a minor god of theatre, Penny Jensen!" Dionysus declared.

"I accept the praise but no thanks, I don't want to be a god right now."

They'd been down there so long, they were probably hoping Kronos would swallow a deck of cards or a Monopoly game.

Audiance broke into laughter.

Anyway, Kronos looked at Rhea and said, "You'll bring the baby to me immediately?"

"He's anxious to eat another baby." Hazel said.

"Of course.""Okay. Off you go. Where is Crete?""Not sure," Rhea said. "I'll find it."And she did. Once she got there, she was immediately met by some helpful nymphs who had also heard the voice of Gaea. They brought Rhea to a cozy, well-hidden cave at the base of Mount Ida.

Zeus smiled dreamily at the memory of his old home and his fostermothers.

The nymphs' stream ran nearby, so Rhea would have lots of fresh water. The bountiful forest offered plenty to eat.

"Quite healthy for a pregnant goddess." Artemis said.

Yes, I know: immortals live mostly on nectar and ambrosia; but in a pinch they could eat other stuff. Being a god wouldn't be much fun if you couldn't enjoy the occasional pizza.

"Pizzas are nice, but Cereal is better." Demeter said.

Rhea gave birth to a healthy baby boy god. He was the most beautiful and perfect one yet.

"And the headache of the cosmos who thinks he's better than everyone else." Poseidon said.

Rhea named him Zeus, which, depending on who you ask, either means Sky or Shining or simply Living. I personally vote for the last one, because I think at this point Rhea had simple hopes for this kid—keep him alive and away from hostile stomachs.

"Its living." Zeus confirmed.

Zeus began to cry, maybe because he sensed his mother's anxiety. The sound echoed through the cave and out into the world—so loud that everyone and their Titan mother knew a baby had been born.

"Zeus was always a whiner. This proves it." Hades said.

"Oh, great," Rhea muttered. "I promised to bring the child to Kronos immediately. Now word will get back to Kronos that it's baby-swallowing time."

"Honey, you has a baby to swallow!" Leo said in his best wifey voice.

The cave floor rumbled. A large stone emerged from the dirt—a smooth, oval rock exactly the same size and weight as a baby god.

"Not excatly. An animated baby made out of rock." Zeus said. "Otherwise how do you think mom got past Kronos?" He asked from Percy.

Rhea wasn't stupid. She knew this was a gift from Gaea. Normally, you would not be excited if your mom gave you a rock for a present, but Rhea understood what to do with it. She wrapped the stone in swaddling clothes and gave the real baby Zeus to the nymphs to take care of. She just hoped she could pull off the switcheroo once she got back to the palace.

"And she did very well." Poseidon said.

"I'll visit as often as I can," Rhea promised the nymphs. "But how will you care for the baby?""Don't sweat it," said Neda, one of the nymphs. "We can feed him honey from the bees nearby. And for milk, we have an awesome immortal goat."

"Bet he's awesomer than goat boy!" Leo said.

"He is not." Annabeth said.

"Five drachmas on, deal?" Leo asked.

"Deal." Annabeth confirmed.

"A what, now?" Rhea nymphs brought in their goat Amaltheia, who produced excellent magical goat milk in many different flavors, including low fat, chocolate, and baby formula.

"Tastiest milk ever!" Zeus said.

"Nice goat," Rhea admitted.

"Aha! Pay up!" Leo said.

"Nah, she never said that goat is better than any satyr. Seems like its a stalemate." Annabeth said.

"But what if the baby cries? Kronos has incredible hearing up there on Mount Othrys. You may have noticed this kid has a set of lungs on him. Kronos will suspect something."

"He does have a set of lungs. One of his favourite hobbies is throwing tantrums." Dionysus said.

Neda considered this. She led Rhea to the cave entrance and called out to the Earth Mother: "Oh, Gaea! I know you're asleep, and all. Sorry to disturb you. But we could use some help guarding this kid! Preferably some very loud help!"

"Kouretes!" Zeus couldn't help but smile.

The ground rumbled again. Three new helpers emerged, born of dirt and the spilled blood of Ouranos (like I said, that stuff got everywhere). The new guys were large, hairy humanoids, dressed in fur and feathers and leather like they were on their way to some primeval festival deep in the rain forest. They were armed with spears and shields, so they looked more like headhunters than nursemaids."WE ARE THE KOURETES!" one shouted at the top of his lungs. "WE WILL HELP!"

"Birds of a feather flock together." Athena said. Zeus quirked his eyebrows at her.

"Thank you," Rhea said. "Do you have to speak so loudly?""THIS IS MY INSIDE VOICE!" the warrior Zeus began crying again. The three warriors immediately busted out some sweet tribal dance moves, beating their spears on their shields and shouting and chanting. They covered up the crying just fine.

For some reason, Baby Zeus seemed to like the noise. He went to sleep in the nymph Neda's arms, and the Kouretes stopped.

"Baby Zeus is so cute!" Aphrodite cooed. The rest joined in her cooeings.

"Okay, well," Rhea said, her ears popping, "looks like you have things under control here." She hefted her fake baby. "Wish me luck."

"Good luck!" Everybody whispered.

Once she got back to Mount Othrys, Rhea stormed into the throne room with her swaddled boulder. She was terrified her plan wouldn't work, but after so many years married to Kronos, she was learning to be a good actress.

"And Gaea whispering to her ear helped too." Zeus said.

She marched right up to King Cannibal and shouted, "This is the best baby yet! A fine little boy named, uh, Rocky! And I suppose you're going to eat him!"

"Rocky?" Frank grinned. "If I didn't know better, I would say Kronos would just identify the rock.

Kronos grimaced. Honestly, he wasn't excited about swallowing another baby god. He was full. But when you're king, you do what you have to do.

Zeus nodded.

"Yeah-sorry, hon," he said. "I have to. Prophecy, and all."

"I hate you!" she screamed. "Ouranos was a horrible father, but at least he didn't swallow us!"Kronos snarled. "Give me that child!""No!"Kronos roared. He unhinged his jaw and showed his extreme mouth-opening skills. "NOW!"He snatched up the swaddled boulder and stuffed it down his throat without even looking at it, just as Rhea had hoped.

Dionysus clapped loudly. Everyone gave him weird looks. "What? Her acting skills were awesome!" He said, putting his hands in air.

In Kronos's belly, the five undigested young gods heard the rock rolling down the esophagus.

"No, we didn't!" The five grown gods said.

"Incoming!" yelled Poseidon.

"I didn't do that!" Poseidon said.

They shifted—as much as they could in the cramped space—and Rocky landed in their midst.

"This is kinda funny. I'm playing along." Demeter said. Then the other four gods looked at each other, then agreed to do so.

"This is not a baby," Hades noticed. "I think it's a rock."

"Hades was always observant." Hestia praised.

He was observant that , in the throne room, Rhea threw an Oscar-worthy tantrum. She screamed and stomped her feet and called Kronos all kinds of unflattering names.

"I nominate Rhea, daughter of Gaea for the Oscar award." Piper said sarcastically.

"RO-O-CCCKY!" she wailed. "NO-O-O-O-O-O-O!"

Laughter of crowd echoed in the throne room.

Kronos started to get a bad stomachache.

"Probably rocky doing some mischeif." Poseidon said.

"That kid was filling," he complained. "What have you been feeding him?"

"Oh I don't know, vitamins for ears?" Percy suggested. Grover turned red as a beet.

"Why should you care?" Rhea wailed. "I will never have another child again!"That was okay with Kronos. He was stuffed.

"Had enough?" Apollo asked.

Rhea ran screaming out of the throne room, and he didn't try to stop , things quieted down in the palace. Kronos was now convinced he had thwarted the curse of Ouranos. No way could his children displace him, since he knew exactly where they all were. He was the king of the cosmos and would never be overthrown!

"Sweet dreams!" Nico whispered sarcastically.

Meanwhile, Rhea visited Mount Ida whenever she could. Her baby boy began to grow up, and Rhea made sure he heard lots of bedtime stories about his horrible father and his five undigested siblings who were just waiting to be rescued from Kronos's gut.

"Nah, mom don't love you guys that much. She loves me better." Zeus said to others.

So you know that when Zeus comes of age, there's going to be a father-son smackdown of epic proportions. If you want a "happily ever after" ending

"Famous ending for many stories." Hermes said.

for Kronos and his Titans, I would stop reading now. Because in the next chapter, Zeus goes nuclear.

"Yes, its my tale!" Zeus grinned and took the book from Hestia, then began to read the next chapter.