Argus took us all the way to Manhattan, where he dropped us off at the bus terminal. I wonder what the mortals thought, three middle schoolers boarding public transportation without an adult.

We boarded the next bus west, sitting all the way in the back. When the bus was nearly full, Annabeth grabbed my thigh and hissed "Percy, look."

At the front of the bus three old ladies were getting on. They were obviously sisters, each wearing a floral print dress, with big hats that hid their faces and big paisley purses. When they looked up, their eyes were pure black, no color at all. It was Mrs. Dodds. Older, more wrinkled, but it was definitely her. They sat down behind the driver and the two on the aisle casually crossed their legs over it, sending an obvious "Nobody leaves" message.

Annabeth and Grover were panicking.

Right as we entered the Lincoln Tunnel, I told Annabeth "Switch with me."

She scooted in and I scooted out, taking the aisle seat. I called High Tide to me, leaving it in pen form for now.

About a quarter of the way through the tunnel, Mrs. Dodds said in a flat voice, like it was rehearsed "I have to use the bathroom."

"So do I." One of the others announced, I couldn't tell which.

"So do I." The last one announced.

They marched down the aisle, shifting into bat-lady form with whips as they went. The only light in the whole bus was their flaming whips and the emergency lights on the floor. Standing about two seats away, they hissed "Where is it? Where is it?" in eerie unison.

When they were right up on us, I stood, uncapping High Tide in one smooth motion. Mrs. Dodds' eyes widened as she tried to dodge and whip me at the same time, but it was too late. I made a Fury-ous Shish-Kebab, making them explode, leaving behind the flaming whips and a whole lot of golden monster dust. All the adrenaline in my body rushed away, making me drop High Tide. It didn't disappear like I thought it would, instead landing on the flaming whips, its razor sharp tip slicing through the furthest one. I bent down to pick it up, and it bent, flexing like a whip. The points trailed on the floor, slicing through the other two whips. It caught on fire when it came into contact with my hand, though it immediately went out when I started panicking. I gave it an experimental flick, smiling at the crack it made. I willed it back to normal, which made the trident shorten back to normal length and stiffen.

I turned and smiled at the gapes Annabeth and Grover were giving me.

Right as I was about to sit down, there was an eardrum-bursting boom of noise as lightning hit right next to the bus, making us spin out and crash into the guard rail right outside the tunnel. The bus teetered and then fell over the rail, sliding down the muddy hill in the pouring rain until it came to rest at the tree line.

"Let's get out of here!" Annabeth said as she pulled herself out of her window.

"Our stuff!" I shouted as Grover leapt out the window like it was easy.

I threw Annabeth her bag and grabbed Grover's, then dove onto the wall of the bus that was on the ground, where my bag was sitting in the mud in the square of a broken window. I grabbed it and then reached out the window, where Annabeth and Grover pulled me out. We jumped clear just as another lightning bolt hit the gas tank, detonating the bus in a cloud of fire.

"The mortals!" I gasped.

"They're fine. They were all off the bus before Grover even got out the window." She snapped. "Let's go, we've got to get out of here.'

They scrambled for the woods while I stood there on the side of the road, staring at a place where I'd nearly gotten myself, my friends, and a whole bunch of random strangers killed.

"Percy!" Annabeth hissed from the tree line. "Let's go!"

I turned to trudge into the woods when the hair on the back of my neck raised up. Before I knew what I was doing, I made a throwing motion with one hand, straight up. High Tide flew into the sky, taking a bolt of lightning meant to hit me. The lightning seemed to splinter into thousands of weaker volts before slamming into the ground and giving me a good shock. The trident clanged on the tarmac, glowing cherry red at the tips like a poker left in a fire too long. I picked it up and stumbled into the woods in shock.


AN: Aight, let me know what you think of this. Next Chapter, Medusa! I know this one was a little short, but I've had a bit of writer's block. You know what fixes that? Encouragement!