Empire State Building (The Olympus) Picture

"Percy," my mom said. "One last thing. If you . . . if you survive this fight with Kronos, send me a sign." She rummaged through her purse and handed me her cell phone.

"Mom," I said, "you know demigods and phones—"

"I know," she said. "But just in case. If you're not able to calll. . . maybe a sign that I could see from anywhere in Manhattan. To let me know you're okay."

"Like Theseus," Paul suggested. "He was supposed to raise white sails when he came home to Athens."

"Except he forgot," Nico muttered. "And his father jumped off the palace roof in despair. But other than that, it was a great idea."

"What about a flag or a flare?" my mom said.
"From Olympus—the Empire State Building."

"Something blue," I said.

We'd had a running joke for years about blue food. It was my favorite color, and my mom went out of her way to humor me. Every year my birthday cake, my Easter basket, my Christmas candy canes always had to be blue.

"Yes," my mom agreed. "I'll watch for a blue signal. And I'll try to avoid jumping off palace roofs."


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