"I'm a demigod."

Murphy nearly choked on her lemonade when she heard the girl's announcement. She didn't know exactly what she expected; a good chunk of the supernatural beings she knew of were capable of masquerading as humans, and Annabeth could've theoretically been any of them. But a demigod… that was the sort of thing that would've made Harry panic, which, in her book, meant global-scale trouble.

"A demigod," the ex-policewoman echoed. "As in, a divine creature. The next-best thing to an actual deity in terms of power. That kind of demigod?"

"That's a misuse of the term," Annabeth answered, looking mildly amused, and Murphy suddenly regretted not taking a proper beer. She would have, but when she asked the girl whether she drank, the answer she got was 'Of course not, I'm seventeen'. The young blonde silently sat her cup on the table in Mac's place and continued without bothering to conceal the fact that she took great pleasure at getting to explain something that Murphy didn't know. Even Dresden wasn't such a douche about it. "Demigods are just children of a mortal and a Greek god. Depending on the godly parent, we can be anything from a near-human with an inborn affinity to the parent's domain to a walking, talking natural disaster."

"If I ask which one of those you are, will you give me a cryptic and incredibly unhelpful answer?"

"I'd like to, but I did promise to tell you the truth. I'm a daughter of Athena, the goddess of wisdom and strategy."

She eyed the curly-haired blond skeptically. "Which basically makes you… really wise?"

"Not wise enough to find my boyfriend, apparently." Either the girl was the best actress Murphy has ever met, or she was very much like a human after all, because when she said that, she looked like a mere teenager trying to conceal a fit of longing, frustration and self-loathing all at the same time.

The wave of pity was probably what made Murphy able to finally mention Harry. "You mean the one you wanted Dresden to find for you? Was he kidnapped?"

"I don't know. He just disappeared a few weeks ago and I've been searching for him ever since."

"Did you call the police? Sorry, I already know the answer to that one. Anyway, how do you know he didn't just leave on his own?"

For a second there, it looked like the girl was about to slam her cup right at Murphy's face. Her blonde curls bounced on her shoulders as she raised her chin proudly and answered, "Because I know Percy, and him ditching the people who rely on him is about as likely as the sky falling d-" she shuddered for a moment, "Wait, bad comparison, it actually almost did."

"The sky fell down?" Murphy asked. "How exactly does that work?"

"That's the thing, it didn't. You'd have noticed it… for about a second, at least, before it crushed everything. You know, Greek mythology, the whole business with Atlas being forced to to separate Gaea from Ouranos," she explained casually, as if she was talking about the weather. "Anyway, I know that Percy wouldn't have left. It's not just about me either, there's also his mother. Not to mention all the other demigods – he led us in a war last summer."

Murphy could buy the idea that there were a bunch of half-divine people who looked like normal humans running around without getting noticed, but concealing a whole war seemed far-fetched. "A war against who?" she asked. "And why didn't anyone notice?"

She smiled. "So, are you still going to tell me what your deal is? It was a two-way agreement, after all."

"I don't know," Murphy shrugged. "What is my deal?"

The girl glared at her impatiently. "You're a mortal. From what I understood, you're the leader of some kind of an improvised organization that gets its funds from criminals – and its goal is, of all things, to protect a city from monsters. Anyone would get curious."

Murphy groaned and stood up. This was going to be a very long conversation, so she might as well get that beer now.