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Contact with Gem had been made. Who was left on Bdubs' list?

Xisuma, Mumbo, Grian, and Zedaph, he believed. He still needed to talk to Tango about Mumbo being on Luke's cruise ship of death, if it was true and not just a dream.

Tango seemed busy again. He walked into the dining pavilion for breakfast with the Stoll brothers, grinning like the lunatic he was. Something was up for sure, but Bdubs didn't really care at this point.

He figured he should probably contact Mumbo first, to make sure this was actually true. Then Grian, since he had no idea where the son of Hermes was. Then Zedaph, and then Xisuma.

Bdubs had found a random Hermes kid last night and paid him a couple mortal dollars to steal some golden drachmas from the Big House. Bdubs now had four gold coins, since he had used one on Gem.

He knew she was in San Diego, California. How she had gotten there from Florida, he had no idea, but it was something, and she had said she was doing her best to get back to camp. Bdubs would have to trust her for now.

Bdubs found a more reliable spot in the stream where, from the perfect angle, the spray made a rainbow. He recited the prayer, threw the drachma, and watched the rainbow shimmer into the image of Mumbo and... was that Annabeth?

"Hey!" Bdubs said.

Both of them turned to look at him in alarm.

"Bdubs?" Mumbo asked.

"Bdubs!" Annabeth yelped.

"What are you doing on Luke's ship?!" Bdubs demanded.

"I fell off a cliff," Mumbo answered.

"He- yeah, I'm gonna let him explain," Annabeth said.

Bdubs was already confused.

"So Grian came back with that golden sheep thing-"


"Yes. Shut up. He went to go revive scar-"


"-and he took too long, so I went after him, but we miscalculated the coordinates and I ended up captured."


"I told you," Annabeth scoffed. "He wasn't going to join Luke, at least. I... well, sorry for thinking that."

"He's trying to bring back Scar..." Bdubs said pinching the bridge of his nose. "That's like, some Third Life stuff right there."

"It does sound like something he would have done in Third Life," Mumbo agreed. "Not that I was there."

"We have an escape plan," Annabeth said. "I'm assuming Percy is coming for a rescue, because he's like that. Also I dreamed about it. If you can contact him, tell him not to worry about me."

Bdubs nodded.

"And talk to Grian," Mumbo said. "I'd rather he not die. The Luke guy mentioned something about people called Watchers who are after him."

"Yesh, I will," Bdubs said, making a mental note about Watchers. He was pretty sure he'd heard of them, but he couldn't place from where. "I'll let both of them know."

Annabeth glanced at the door. "The guards are coming to check on us," she said. "Mumbo, the communicator-"

"They don't care about it," Mumbo said. "They're too confused."

Annabeth nodded absently, then turned back to the Iris Messge. "We'll see you soon, Bdubs."

Then she swiped her hand through the rainbow and it fizzled out.

Bdubs checked Mumbo's name off his list and made a note. Tell Percy not to worry about Annabeth, tell Grian that Mumbo is looking for him, tell Xisuma and Tango that Mumbo is captured.

Grian was next. This was the one that Bdubs had sort of been dreading, even more so now that he knew about the Fleece.

Bdubs threw another coin into the rainbow. "Show me Grian," he said.

Grian's back was to the message. Bdubs saw a skeleton with glowing purple eyes, aiming a bow. Grian took a step backwards, towards the message.

"Grian!" Bdubs called.

Probably a bad idea. Grian looked back. His eyes widened in recognition upon seeing Bdubs. "Now is not a good time-"

He stopped talking, because he had to dodge an arrow. Grian grunted in pain and stumbled backwards, through the message, ending it.

"No!" Bdubs yelled. He fumbled with another drachma. Eventually, he got it to work again. The new message was from a different angle.

"HEY!" Bdubs yelled. "HEY YOU! SKELETON!"

The skeleton looked at him and laughed. It had a voice. Why did it have a voice? That was unsettling.

Grian drew his sword. The Fleece was near the far wall of the cave - apparently he had dropped it. So that was true, at least.

The skeleton with the glowing eye sockets moved to end the Iris Message. Bdubs made a frustrated yell as his vision returned to the rainbow in the stream.

He used his last drachma to restart the message.

Grian had taken advantage of the moment of distraction and slashed the skeleton in half. It was nothing but a pile of bones, motionless on the ground.

"What was that?" Bdubs asked, as Grian breathed a sigh of relief.

"Nothing," Grian said, turning to pick up the Fleece.

"Mumbo's looking for you," Bdubs blurted.

Grian pursed his lips and faced the Iris Message. "Pearl will tell him when he gets back to Hermitcraft. I'm trying to get the Fleece back to camp."

"He's on Luke's ship," Bdubs said.

Grian froze. "What is he doing there?"

"It's this whole thing," Bdubs said. "He was looking for you, then he fell off a cliff, then he got captured - I'm not really sure about it myself. Apparently he and Annabeth have an escape plan, though. Did you say you're bringing the Fleece back to camp?"

Grian nodded. "But you have to promise me you won't tell anyone. It's gonna be in and out."

"Mumbo said you were trying to bring back Scar," Bdubs said, as quietly as he could, which admittedly wasn't very quiet.

Grian hesitated. "I was," he said flatly. "It... didn't work. The short version is, I'm going to bring this stupid glittery rug back to Thalia's Spruce, and then go home to Hermitcraft. I probably won't come back to camp after that."

"Why not?"

"I stole probably the most valuable thing there. I don't even know if Thalia is still alive. I'm probably expelled anyway."

"She's alive," Bdubs said. "I think."


"Well, I dunno! I haven't talked to Zedaph and Percy and Thalia and Grover and those Hunters yet! Why were you so scared of the skeleton?"


"What reasons?"

"See you later, Bdubs. Please don't tell anyone about me and the Fleece. Not even the other Hermits. I'll tell them in person." Grian ended the message.

Well, that was rude.

Oh, well. Bdubs could pry information on that skeleton out of Grian later. Maybe it had something to do with the Watchers Mumbo had mentioned.

Xisuma and Zedaph were the next ones on his list, but he didn't have any drachmas left.

Bdubs made a frustrated noise and kicked at the stream, but that only served to get his shoes wet. Then he stomped off to find Tango.


Guys it's like 1 AM I'm so tired but it's fine I'm finally evening out some of the misunderstandings and miscommunications all the characters are having

- Indigo

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