FoF 10

Ace Iverson and the Fabric of Fate

Season I: The Veil of Reality

Chapter X: Strangers in Boston Part I

By ACI100

Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction based on the PJO universe. All recognizable characters, plots and settings are the exclusive property of Rick Riordan. I make no claim to ownership.

Acknowledgements: Thank you to my lovely betas Umar, Luq 707, Yoshi89 and Fezzik for their work on this story.

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November 16, 2004

A Hotel Near the Outskirts of Boston

8:48 PM

Andreia was bored.

Being naturally energetic, having a bad case of ADHD, and being bored didn’t go well together.

Not in the slightest.

She had spent most of her day locked up in class. She didn’t mind school, even in spite of her dyslexia and ADHD. She didn’t love it either, though. She enjoyed the social aspects of it, but she got the same thing from swimming, and that pursuit was a whole lot more enjoyable.

She had been unable to escape the static monotony of her day, even after school had been dismissed. 

She had gone out to the school’s parking lot and swiftly slid into the passenger seat of a vehicle belonging to one of her father’s best friends. He’d driven her to Boston, which was where she and the rest of her teammates now resided, waiting for the meet that would start that very next day.

Sitting in a classroom all day, then driving to Boston, then being locked up in a hotel wasn’t doing Andreia any favours. 

She needed to get out.

Some of her teammates had already left, choosing to explore the city. They weren’t really the crowd Andreia got on with, so she had chosen not to accompany them. Now, she was wishing she had.

She sighed deeply as she peered out the window, letting her eyes fall on the churning bay she could make out not far away, past the shipyard. 

That’s what she needed right now — to be in the water.

It was cold, but Andreia had swam in colder conditions. The water wasn’t too turbulent, especially not for the time of year, and she wouldn’t be gone long.

She would make sure the journey was quick and that she was back before the hour became late.

Sneaking out wouldn’t be all that difficult, after all. Nor would sneaking back in, for that matter.

Meanwhile, in a speeding Porsche 911…

The drive to Boston was relatively quiet. Much more so than either Ace or Cato expected. Riding motorcycles might have been fun, but Ace was rather appreciative for the luxuries of a car at long last. Especially since the drive from Buffalo to Boston wasn’t exactly short.

Everything had been going so well, right up until they neared their objective.

After examining a map, Cato had indicated a shipping yard and docking station near the outskirts of Boston. It would lead into Quincey Bay, which would lead them to the Canadian province of New Brunswick, in a roundabout way.

Ace was not happy about this.

He and water didn’t mix. They never had, and he told Cato as much. The man had worn an oddly pensive expression. “I don’t doubt it,” he’d said. “I would actually be surprised if you did have a good relationship with water.”

That had surprised Ace a great deal, but he hadn’t commented. Cato was a genius with a whole lot of quirks. Ace had come to terms with that reality. Questioning him would only complicate things even more than they were already. He just wanted to end this journey. It had been fun at times, and he would most certainly be keeping in contact with Cato, but fearing for his life every day was rather tiring. Especially when he’d gotten almost no sleep since leaving Los Angeles almost exactly four days ago now.

Wow… four days.

It felt so much longer and shorter all at once. 

So much had happened that it seemed impossible for it all to be contained in the four days they’d spent on the road. On the other hand, it had actually flown by. Probably because Ace had spent most of the journey with his adrenaline at frankly unhealthy levels of ridiculous, which tended to effectively warp one’s perception of time.

He reflected on all of this just as the image of the shipping yard came into view.

And just as everything went horribly wrong.

Something lunged from the shadows, seeming to materialize from out of nowhere just as their car drew near.

“Ah, fuck!” Cato cursed, and Ace thought the expletive summed up their current situation quite well.

Something massive had leapt through the air and landed on top of their car. The roof was groaning and slowly giving way, and whatever the thing was seemed to be trying- with at least a small degree of success- to claw its way through the roof. 

“Grab our bags and bail the fuck out when I give the word,” Cato commanded.

Ace’s eyes bulged. “Are you fucking-“

“Do it or die, bubba! Your choice.”

This was stupid.

Most things Ace had done on this journey were stupid, but this bout of absolute idiocy would take the cake.

They were driving at least one-hundred miles an hour. Surely baling out of the car would kill them? 

Even in the best case scenario, it would hurt like an absolute bitch.

“Three, two, one — bail!”

Ace listened.

Why the fuck did he listen?

This was such a bad idea — he was going to die.

With lightning-like reflexes, he snatched the bags from the floor- the ones containing their weapons and Cato’s prized flag- threw open the door, and dove.

He didn’t hit the pavement.

Not right away, at least.

His body seemed to gain elevation as he baled, something that surely should have been impossible. He could hear the screeching rubber of Cato drifting the Porsche 911 straight towards a massive shipping container, but he was too focused on the fact he was about to die to pay much attention. He did see, from the corner of his eye, a body dive from the other seat just as Cato pulled the drift. He also saw the car roll, whatever was on top of it let out a… whine as the car’s roof met the pavement, crushing the beat instantaneously. Just as he landed — somehow on his feet with only enough momentum to throw him quite harmlessly to the ground — the earth shook with the force of an explosion that left Ace’s ears ringing.

The car had rolled straight into the shipping container. 

Ace was pretty sure that had been Cato’s plan.

To kill the monster on top of their car by any means necessary, as well as hopefully keeping the two of them alive in the process.

What Ace doubted the man had accounted for was the fact that obviously, there had either been explosives or volatile chemicals stored within the shipping container. Whichever case was true, the explosion that accompanied the car’s impact was rather dramatic. Not so grand as the one at the Staples Center, but more so than the one that had lit the Minotaur on fire back in Dallas.

For a terrifying second, Ace’s heart lurched. He hadn’t seen Cato land, nor could he be sure his friend hadn’t been killed by the initial explosion, nor consumed by the small fireball that had quickly spread outwards from the blast’s epicentre.

“Right here, bubba.” Ace actually sagged in relief when he turned to see Cato grinning ear to ear, despite the fact he was in much worse shape than Ace. His elbows were bloody and he obviously had a nasty case of road rash. He managed to grin through it all the same. The fact didn’t even seem to bother him.

“What just happened?” Ace asked dazedly.

“Well,” Cato started. “I told you to bail outta the car right before I drifted it into the-“

“No,” Ace dismissed, “I got all that. I mean… how are we alive.” He looked down at his own body. “How did I do that? I just… landed on my feet. It barely felt like I hit the ground, but we were going a hundred miles an hour.”

Cato looked contemplative in much the same way he had when he’d confessed to Ace that he would be surprised if he got along well with water. Ace still didn’t know what it meant, nor did he feel particularly inclined to find out.

“I have an idea,” Cato said. “If I’m wrong though, I’m really wrong. Will tell ya when we get a bit of a break, but no time right now. Come on, the docks are right there.”

They were indeed, though as Ace approached them, dread closed around his heart as the muscle seemed to put in an admirable effort to beat straight out of his chest. Irrational panic was closing in on all sides, and he hadn’t even noticed that he’d started shaking until Cato rested a firm hand on his shoulder. “It’s alright,” he assured him. “Everything‘ll be fine. Just stay calm and all will be fine.”

That held true as they uncovered a boat, got it started and began their journey out into Quincey Bay.

It held true until they were about fifty feet from land. Until the very water around them seemed to explode as something straight from Ace’s nightmares rose toweringly high out of the water, glaring down at the two unsuspecting humans with murderous intent.

Ace froze.

“Ah, fuck!” Cato screamed.

He saw and perceived the monster in front of them, but he could do nothing.

Being confronted by a sea monster in the open water was probably the absolute worst case scenario for him. He couldn’t imagine anything worse, and his brain just froze.

It barely even noticed what the thing was. Considering what it truly was, this was saying a lot, as it wasn’t exactly easy to miss.

The Kraken loomed terrifyingly over them, its octopus-like tentacles swirling in an angry pattern as its feral jaws snapped viciously. It clearly wasn’t playing games and just wanted two, easy kills.

It capsized their boat before either of them knew what was happening. Not even Cato could plan quickly enough for the transpiring events, and he fell just as helplessly into the cold, frigid bay as Ace, who didn’t even have the brainpower to scream.

Andreia had seen a lot of things in the water.

In addition to what most people would refer to as normal, she’d seen human-like creatures smiling up at her from out of the waves. She’d seen animals that were apparently the things of myth. She had even seen a man named Triton walking straight into the ocean on at least one occasion. He hadn’t known she had been spying on him after one of their many chats throughout the years, but she had.

Not even a man who could apparently breathe under water held a candle to the sight that was in front of her now. It could have been taken straight from a horror film.

The massive, octopus-like monstrosity in the water would have been terrifying enough on its own account. When it effortlessly tipped the lone boat in the bay and reached its tentacles greedily towards its obviously human prey, Andreia screamed and made a split-second decision. It was quite possibly the dumbest thing she had ever done in her life. She had been told before she was too kind, too caring, and too compassionate. Her father had always taken great pride in her heart, but this was taking that to another level.

She also intuitively knew that the moment had come.

The moment she’d pondered in her bedroom back in New Bedford almost twenty-four hours ago had arrived. This was the event, or the choice that would change her life. She had no idea how she knew that, but it was true, and she had no doubt of it.

The smart thing would be to call 911 immediately and to get the hell out of dodge. 

But Andreia didn’t do the smart thing.

She was the only one who could help the teens who were now completely at the mercy of the monster bearing down upon them.

Andreia had known for years she was special.

She saw things in the water that nobody else could see, and her natural affinity for the element was… not natural. 

There was no other way to say it.

A human couldn’t will themselves to move faster while in the water. A human didn’t wield limited control over the element itself. A human most certainly could not breathe under water.

Andreia had told nobody any of these things, but she could do all of them.

Well, she had told Triton; he was who had helped her first grasp her control over the element, after all. But he’d always known, somehow, even before she had told him.

It was this control that gave Andreia the courage to do what her heart was screaming for her to do.

Rush forward towards the water and act. 

The water reacted long before she reached it.

She had always felt a connection to the element that was more than natural, but never had she felt as in tune with it as she did now.

As if spurred on by her very emotion, the water reacted without command.

A massive wave materialized from nowhere and surged towards the Kraken, rippling across the water and ruining any calmness the bay had maintained after the appearance of the monster. Water met monster with such force that the thing reared back, dazed and confused just as another wave slammed into its side, forcing it back away from the thrashing teens.

With a grabbing gesture from Andreia, the boys surged towards land. More accurately, the water dragged them there with unnatural speed.

Or at least it tried.

In the case of the larger of the two, it had no trouble doing this. 

In the case of the smaller and obviously younger of the duo, the water met resistance when one of the Kraken’s spiked tentacles wrapped tightly around his leg. For the first time since falling into the water, the boy let out an exclamation of agony and Andreia’s anger pounded in her ears. 

Perhaps she really was too compassionate. 

Seeing others in pain did not sit well with her. Least of all when the boy in question appeared as if he might well be younger than her.

She focused harder than she’d ever focused before, taking a deep breath in as she tried to manipulate water in a way she had never thought possible. She bawled her left hand into a fist and then opened it suddenly. The water seemed to push forcefully against the tentacle around the boy’s leg and its grip faltered, the boy tumbling back into the bay. Andreia brought her other hand down like a starting signal and the water reacted violently. It swirled forcefully around the Kraken with the power of a tornado, forming a whirlpool that ever so slowly dragged the monster beneath the surface, flailing and screeching horribly as it went.

The older of the duo had surfaced onto the shore now. He was coughing and spluttering badly, but at the same time, he was desperately calling out for the other boy. With a jolt, Andreia realized he was still out in the water. His leg appeared to be useless as a result of the Kraken’s attack and he was panicking.

She tried to bend the water to her will again, but it was more difficult now. She felt uncharacteristically exhausted, especially considering how she had been brimming with energy before arriving on the scene. The boy was also thrashing in obvious panic and desperation, which wasn’t making Andreia’s life any easier. 

With the water’s downward pull still minimally in effect, as well as the boy’s bad leg and desperate thrashing, he would drown very soon unless an intervention was made.

Andreia set her jaw and ran forwards.

She had wanted to swim, after all.

Ace wasn’t seeing the world around him.

Not that he could; not with the water surging all around him.

He couldn’t breathe and his heart beat at dangerous levels as his leg screamed in protest. The searing agony wasn’t lessened by the water, yet nor was it strong enough to snap him from his panic induced reminiscing.

As far as he was concerned, he wasn’t in Quincey Bay. 

Nor was he even in the United States of America.

He was back home in Canada, and he was three-years-old once more. His stepfather had inadvertently capsized the canoe, sending the both of them roughly tumbling into the water. The river had been calm just moments before, but it now clinged to Ace. It felt as if he was being physically grabbed as he was pulled down. He screamed a high-pitched scream as he thrashed and tried to cry out for his stepfather, though his pleas for help were drowned out and distorted by the water swirling malevolently around him.

When arms too soft to be his stepfather’s wrapped around him, he knew that this time, he hadn’t escaped the murderous grasp of the sea. The Reaper had come for him, and it was here to guide him through the veil of death and allow him to experience whatever lay beyond.

That was what he’d thought until a blast of cool air slammed into him and his eyes snapped open. His leg was burning and he slammed it into the ground as he thrashed wildly to escape whatever had a hold of him, screaming at the top of his lungs as his leg gave out and his shaking intensified.

He realized several things all at once as two voices could be heard. One was familiar, calling his name from not far away. The other was not, and it seemed to be trying to bring him back to reality as it whispered words he couldn’t quite decipher.

He was in Boston, just outside of Quincey Bay on his way back to Canada with Cato.

Which also meant he wasn’t dead.

How the fuck wasn’t he dead?

He forced his eyes more tightly shut as he desperately tried to gain control of his breathing. Coaches had preached to him for years the importance of breathing. Your breath was a catalyst for a great number of things. In many ways, one’s mental state was chief amongst them.

The Kraken had risen out of the water and tipped their boat. 

That was about where his memory ended.

He assumed it had grabbed him by the leg at some point. He could feel the cuts all over the limb and he thought he could sense blood oozing from the wounds it had created. The damage ran deeper than the surface though. The muscle didn’t feel right either, though Ace couldn’t immediately place what was wrong with it. He was too busy trying to stop shaking every time he thought of the Kraken.

‘Pull it together,’ he thought viciously, still coughing up water as somebody seemed to rub circles on his back. 

Slowly, with one last, calming breath, his eyes opened and he studied the world around him just as he croaked out the most pressing question on his mind. “What the hell just happened?”

“We got fucked up!,” Cato deadpanned helpfully.

Ace rolled his eyes as he clambered to his feet. “No shit,” he muttered, right before nearly falling face-first onto the concrete. His leg had given out as soon as he’d put weight down onto it, and the very muscle screamed in protest as liquid fire seemed to try and consume every tendon as his head swam.

Somebody grabbed him from behind before he could hit the pavement. Definitely not Cato. So… the same person who had pulled him from the bay? Somebody had pulled him from the water, right?

“Moron!” the same person hissed into his ear as they forced him gently back down onto the pavement, head still spinning. 

Ace’s vision came back into focus as he looked up at the new figure. She had broad shoulders, but an athletic build. Her hair was light brown and her eyes were a bluish-green colour. She was completely unfamiliar, but he actually smirked despite everything.

“Nice to meet you too,” he quipped.

Cato’s laughter rang through the silence of the night as the girl just glared down at him, though Ace couldn’t help but feel that she too was amused. 

“Now, let’s try this again,” Ace said, his head marginally more clear than it had been the first time. He was still shaking, something he wasn’t proud of, and his heart was still beating unnaturally fast. Outside of his irrational bit of fear, he now felt normal enough to speak and act cognitively. “What just happened?”

“Whatever the hell that thing was flipped our boat,” Cato supplied. “Then… I have no fucking idea.” He looked speculatively towards the new arrival. “It was almost like you… controlled the water.”

Ace blinked. “That’s… not possible.”

Cato snorted. “With all the shit we’ve been through the last few days, you’re still doubting that something is possible? I sure as hell didn’t think a Kraken existed, but here we are.” Ace shivered at the mention of the monster’s name, but peered curiously up towards Andreia.

She all of a sudden looked incredibly sheepish. “You’re not going to spread any of this, right?”

Cato’s laughter rang out once more. “Bubba, if you can control water, I am not trynna piss you off. Especially when you just pulled my ass out of the water.”

“Not exactly like we can throw accusations around right now, either,” Ace muttered. It was true as well. As far as he knew, Cato’s ‘friends’ had yet to deal with the criminal evidence that may or may not have implicated them as potential terrorists who were a bit too obsessed with explosives.

Andreia bit her lip. “I can, yes.” There was a heavy silence during which Ace and Cato were very obviously waiting for her to continue. “I’ve… always been able to. Well, sort of. I had to practice, but I’ve always been able to do it at least a little bit.”

“Fucking hell,” Ace muttered. “Demigods really are a thing, aren’t they?”

Cato nodded pensively. “I think so, yeah.”

Andreia just looked puzzled. “What are you two talking about?”

They exchanged looks. “She did just save us,” Ace pointed out from his seated position. “If she’s affected too, she has the right to know.”

Cato sighed. “Damn you and your god forsaken nobility.” He turned to Andreia. “We have a lot to explain, but we should probably get him cleaned up. Maybe my arm too, but that’s a lotta blood.” It was true. Ace’s pants were stained with it, and he could tell it was still flowing. Perhaps that was why he felt a bit light-headed.

“I’m fine,” he tried to argue, but the new arrival whose name he still didn’t know hit him lightly on the shoulder.

“You’re not fine, you moron!”

Ace’s lips twitched. It was actually rather nice not just having new people go along with what he said for the hell of it. It was refreshing. The opposite of everything that made him shrug off most of his peers. 

“We don’t have time though,” he argued. “We need to come up with a new plan.”

“Already got one,” Cato countered. “We’re going to Maine, but we need to get your leg at least somewhat fixed up first. Not sure where we’ll do that, but…”

“I have a first aid kit back at the hotel I’m staying at,” Andreia offered quietly. “If there’s muscle or bone damage, I won’t be able to do much, but we can at least deal with the cuts and stuff.”

Cato nodded thoughtfully. “That works, we just need to not get seen.”

“Why?” Andreia asked suspiciously.

“Maybe later,” Cato decided. “Plausible deniability is a wonderful thing.” He looked down at Ace. “Can you stand?” Ace answered yes at the same time Andreia answered no, and the two briefly glared at one another as Cato laughed once more. 

“Let’s see it then?” Andreia’s voice sounded more annoyed than actually challenging, but Ace complied at once. He tried to, at least. 

This time, he didn’t immediately fall towards the pavement, but he did stagger, and he most certainly would have lost his balance. Andreia caught his arm, steadying and levelling him with a more firm glare. “It was rhetorical, dumbass!” she cursed. “I didn’t actually mean for you to do it.”

“You told me I can’t do something,” Ace gritted out, wincing when his right foot touched the pavement. “I don’t do well with being told I can’t do things.”

“Right,” Cato interrupted, “is your left leg fine?”

“Yeah, the thing didn’t even touch it.”

“Okay, so can you make it to the hotel with a bit of help?” He paused. “How far is the hotel?”

Andreia shrugged. “Five minutes normally, ish.”

“Definitely,” Ace answered at once.

Cato- who had mercifully kept a hold of their bags throughout the entire fiasco- drew out his spear and held it at the ready. Andreia’s eyes widened, but Cato didn’t immediately indulge her curiosity. “Since you kinda have to come with us anyway, can you make sure he doesn’t eat shit along the way?”

“I resent that comment,” Ace muttered, but he hadn’t been given a choice in the matter. This girl… or demigod… or whatever she was draped his right arm over her shoulders, compensating for the weakness in his right leg. Ace was probably two or so inches taller than her, but their heights were similar enough that it wasn’t awkward. He sighed. “Fine, let’s get going then.”

Some time later…

Okay, so Ace’s leg was bad.

He could admit to that.

It was mangled, with much of the top layer of skin having been shredded by the Kraken. Mercifully, there were no cuts that ran as deep as the bone, but a few were particularly nasty. The ones where the thing’s spikes had took refuge, he imagined.

Having so many deep cuts wasn’t just painful in general, but it also made cleaning them an absolute bitch. Most of them were fine, but the deepest among them stung like hell as Ace winced, sitting in the chair provided in Andreia’s hotel room as his hands clasped so tightly onto the armrests that his knuckles turned white as Andreia carefully cleaned his leg to the best of her ability. Cato was cleaned his own cuts in the bathroom.

It had gone well. Amazingly enough, no monsters burst through Andreia’s hotel room door with the intent to kill everything inside. One of her friends, Katherine, did indeed barge in. When she saw the sight inside, failing to notice what was actually going on at first glance, her eyes practically bugged out of her head. 

“O-oh,” she stammered before Andreia could explain herself. “I… uh… sorry, Andy, I’ll be leaving.”

Andreia looked suitably mortified, but Ace actually looked amused. He was smirking broadly. “Andy, is it?” he asked. “I don’t think we ever got your name.”

“Technically, it’s Andreia, but I prefer Dreia or Andy.”

“Andreia isn’t so bad of a name.”

“It sounds so… formal.”

His lips twitched again, right before he let out a hiss as another cut was attacked. “Fucking hell… Right, yeah, fair enough, I guess. I can’t say I’ve ever had that problem. The good part about a one syllable name, I guess.”

“Care to share?”

“Ace. Guy in the bathroom’s Cato.”

“Where are you from?”

Ace laughed. “I’m from Canada and Cato is from Georgia. We’ve known each other for all of four days.”

“Really? You guys seem like you’ve known each other for way longer than that.”

That gave Ace pause. It felt like he’d known Cato for a lot longer than that, if truth was to be told. Hell, it felt like he’d known him forever. Ace didn’t have a lot of friends, per se. He had a preposterously large number of acquaintances whom he was friendly with, but that didn’t automatically make them friends. Aside from Caleb and Cadmus, he could honestly say Cato felt like probably his closest friend. He had no idea if the man felt the same way, but it did feel like it to Ace.

“It… sort of feels like it,” he admitted slowly.

“Some people just have chemistry, I guess. It’s like those movies where the protagonists are brothers at first sight, you know?”

Ace didn’t; not really. “I’m not the most open person, usually. Most of the time, I’m pretty reserved and tend to make friends slowly.”

“You seem pretty open.”

Ace laughed. “Yeah, well saving somebody’s life is a pretty good way to break the ice. Besides, you’re not exactly shy. That makes it easier. I mean, the first thing you said to me was ‘moron’.” And in a warped sort of way, that was exactly why Ace thought he was finding it so easy to talk to her. She was treating him like a human being. She wasn’t fawning over him like most he met tended to do, but she also wasn’t sneering down her nose at him for his post-attack breakdown.

It was… liberating.

Cato had chosen that moment to emerge from the bathroom, a shit-eating grin on his face. “Damn, I really wish I got to see that girl’s reaction when she walked in.”

That pretty much shattered any ice that remained and soon enough, Ace and Cato were explaining, in vague terms, mostly, what they’d been through since leaving Los Angeles. Andy was suitably awed by everything that had transpired. 

“So now you’re going to Maine, right?”

“Yeah, gonna try to cross into Canada from there and see if we get blocked again.”

“I’ll come with you.”

Ace and Cato exchanged a look. “Uh… what?” Ace asked.

“I said I’ll come with you. It’s taken both of you to get this far, and no offence, Ace, but I don’t think you’re gonna be fighting anything off for a while.” He scowled in distaste but surprisingly didn’t argue the point. “It honestly won’t take that long to get you home than come back here. A day of driving, maybe? I don’t compete until the day after tomorrow. I can just tell my coach… I don’t know, something.”

Ace and Cato exchanged looks again. “You’re… sure about this?” Ace asked skeptically. If she was, this girl was far too kind for her own good. It was going to get used against her, one day.

“Yes, I’m sure. I wouldn’t have offered if I wasn’t.”

“Well, that’s settled then,” Cato decided.

Andreia rose a brow. “That easy, really?”

“Are you kidding? After what you did with the water, we’d be stupid to say no.” Cato frowned. “Need to find another car though.”

“I know where a car dealership is,” Andreia supplied. “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it wouldn’t actually be that hard to steal a vehicle.”

“Alright, it really is settled then.”

Now, the three of them were standing across the street from the car dealership in question, discussing final plans as they prepared to steal the vehicle. To his dismay, Ace would be staying on the far side of the road. He could now stand on his own, but he was limping heavily and his leg hurt like hell. If he put too much force down, the limb would buckle. With a great amount of reluctance, he conceded that he would probably slow the other two down.

They were across the street when it all went wrong.

A figure burst from the alley behind Ace, breathing heavily. His dark eyes shone with irrational panic as his chest heaved with the effort of running.

He was maybe three inches taller than Ace, though he looked to be several years older, so that wasn’t too surprising. He was slim and had mostly black hair, though strands of it were brushed back and up into a dirty blonde quiff in the centre of his head. He wore a black sportcoat with the emblem of Chelsea on the right side of his chest. Ace’s eyes were fixated on the football emblem for all of three seconds before a low growl ripped through the air.

Stalking out of the alley was a hulking, dog-like form that Ace knew at once to be a hellhound.

His perception seemed to marginally speed up as he tried to think of a solution, but he realized almost at once he was fucked.

Cato and Andreia were on the other side of the street and would never reach them in time. That wasn’t even considering Andy didn’t have a weapon.  Ace was raising his celestial bronze sword, but he was off balance and already knew he wouldn’t be fast enough. The newcomer seemed to be completely unarmed, and the hellhould chose that exact moment to rest its glowing red eyes on Ace and lunge at him.

Author’s Endnote:

First and foremost, the chapter title is in homage to an original novel titled “Strangers in Boston”. It is written by T.S Mann, though you may know him better as The Sinister Man; author of Harry Potter and the Prince of Slytherin. It is a fantastic read that I would recommend anybody to check out if they have the spare money. I believe the eBook was around $5.

If you haven’t noticed the importance of these events is rising as season 1 draws ever nearer to its climax. There will be no more than seven chapters until the end of the season. Six is my guess, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Sorry for the cliffhanger… not.

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