Splattering against the rocky bottom of a gorge somewhere in Texas was not how Percie had envisioned herself dying. She would've preferred something involving explosions, and a dramatic choir singing in Latin in the background. The gods would weep at the poetic beauty of it all. Or at the very least, curse her for going out in a way that overshadowed everyone else. As her arm gave out, and she and Frank plummeted down to certain doom below them, Percie tried to figure out the best way to land. Not in a survivable way, of course; the drop was too much. There was no getting out of that alive. But if she was going to fall to her death, she at least wanted to land in a way that would kill her instantly; not leave her broken, writhing in agony until she finally bled out.
In the last few seconds she had, she decided to land on her head. Not the most dignified way to go out, by any means, but much better than landing on her ass, or on her stomach. In order to accomplish this goal, she twisted in mid-air, still keeping ahold of Frank with her left hand, and pivoted so her upper body was falling first, turning into less of a fall and more of a dive. Doing so gave her a fresh view of the rapidly approaching ground, and Percie went to close her eyes to cushion the mental impact of her impending death. (Sadly, there would be no cushioning the physical impact.)
However, as she went to close her eyes, she caught sight of something else. She and Frank were falling right next to the edge of the gorge, and while the upper half of the cliff's face was composed of soft dirt, soft enough for her to jam Riptide into it, that soil turned into something else as they got closer to the bottom: limestone. And limestone was an aquifer; a type of rock capable of containing and transmitting groundwater. Percie's right arm was still throbbing in searing pain, and her left was too occupied with the unresponsive Frank to be much help, either. Her limbs were useless, which meant she'd have to do this strictly with her own mental focus.
While plummeting to certain death, just seconds away. No pressure.
It had no guarantee to work; for all Percie knew, the limestone in the cliff face wasn't carrying enough water for her to use with any success. But she didn't have any other choice left. It wasn't her first time manipulating water to serve her own will. But it was the first time she'd ripped water out of the ground itself. Percie's mind went into hyperdrive, as the rocky bottom of the gorge seemed to swell in excitement, waiting for her and Frank to meet their fates. For half a second, nothing happened. Then... wham.
Enough water to fill a small bathtub came jetting out of the rock, lancing around Percie's waist and heaving her off to the side, Frank coming with her. It was by no means a comfortable ride; having their momentum abruptly cut off like that meant Percie's already dislocated arm got bent at an even worse angle, eliciting another howl of pain from the demigod as the water bounced them along the cliff's wall, only thirty feet above the floor of the gorge. More survivable... but not guaranteed.
Biting her lip hard enough to draw blood, Percie stiffened her resolve, despite the agony shooting up her right arm making her just about pass out. She couldn't afford to let her mind relax; just taking a moment to survey the damage to her elbow resulted in losing at least a quarter of her water, the liquid dropping helplessly to the ground below. It was enough of an incentive for her to keep skipping them along in the air, the water whipping them forward and grabbing at them before they could drop over and over again. Finally, after about a minute of these air-hopping hijinks, the pointy rocks smoothed out, becoming patches of much softer sand. Once that had occurred, Percie let the water gradually fall away, until only a small amount remained; just enough to let her and Frank descend to a height she was comfortable enough to drop from.
Of course, dropping still hurt. She made sure to set Frank down first, the praetor rolling onto his side into the sand as she dropped him about six feet off the ground. Releasing him only sent more waves of shock racing through her limbs, and Percie collapsed a moment later, getting a face-full of sand for her troubles, at the end of her own six foot drop. They'd survived; horribly wounded, and stranded in the middle of the wilderness with a dead-eyed constellation after them, but they were alive. At least, Percie hoped Frank was still alive.
That hope was well-founded; just as the daughter of Poseidon was beginning to worry about the Roman, he shuddered, rolling over onto his back and coughing up grains of the white composition they'd landed in. With him in the clear, she could now worry about her sword-arm. Riptide had been left behind in the dirt towards the top of the gorge, but that was a non-issue. However, being unable to user her weapon when it returned was a very serious issue. Telemachus had been good enough to to return their belongings to them before they left, which included some of the ambrosia and nectar they always carried with them, but Percie doubted they'd brought enough to fix both her arm and whatever injuries Frank might've sustained, taking that arrow to the head.
As for her arm, it had definitely looked better. She could see a good part of the bone jutting against the top of her shoulder, and when she tried to move it, all she was met with was more searing burns up her nerves. The elbow had popped out of place as well, and the patch of skin underneath it was starting to swell up.
About eight feet away from her, Frank spat up the last of his sand milkshake, sitting up and rubbing his forehead. "Ugh... what happened?"
"We got pulled over by the highway patrol. Something about driving an immortal horse without a license. Arion ran, I freaked out, you took an arrow to the face... you know. Normal stuff for us."
The son of Mars blinked at her sarcasm, then broke into an open-mouthed stare. "Oh, gods. What happened with Crotus? And where's Arion?"
Percie went to point with her right arm, but stopped just as more pain started to flow through it. "Uh... Arion severely overestimated his long-jumping abilities, and is now probably laid up in some equestrian hospital, receiving treatment for intense internal injuries. As for the Archer, after he knocked you out with that stupid aim of his, I lost sight of him. He's probably either trying to track us down, or is off looking for someone else to torture with his poor excuse for acting. My money's on the first one, though."
Frank didn't look thrilled at either of those answers, which was understandable. Getting stranded in the wilderness with a deranged maniac after you was one thing, but Frank was now stuck in the wilderness getting pursued by a deranged maniac with only a very injured Percie Jackson for company. And when Percie got injured, she started making really dumb remarks, just to get her mind off her current agony.
At least the praetor was still aware enough of his surroundings to take in her clearly wounded arm. "Percie, what happened to you?" he asked, real concern in his voice, pulling himself to his feet and waddling over, still dizzy from getting knocked out.
"Yeah... I tried to stop us from falling on the rocks. It worked, but I ended up doing myself a bit of a mischief in the process." See? Stupid remark; one made to keep her from focusing on how much she wanted to burst into tears at the spasming wounds she was suffering from.
Frank kneeled down next to her, taking in her arm, before reaching for it. The moment his fingers grazed her skin, she pulled back involuntarily, hissing. "Percie, I need to have a good look at it," he chastised, lowering his voice. "Ambrosia and nectar can only do so much if the bone and shoulder aren't properly set beforehand."
Gods, that was not going to be pleasant. "Frank, I know that," she pleaded, "but can it wait until I'm asleep? Or at least dozing off? I've had to reset a dislocated shoulder before, and let me tell you: not fun."
"No, it's not. But if we don't reset it, and soon, you're going to run the risk of losing a lot of functions in that arm. So unless you think you can be just as capable as you are right now with only one working arm, we're going to snap that puppy back into place."
Frank was far too serious for her liking. The way he was looking at her arm... it made Percie long for the days of Polybotes and his half-assed threats. "Frank... I'm not joking," she repeated, clutching to her elbow with her uninjured hand. "There's no way I'm going to just sit here, and let-"
"Percie." The praetor's voice dropped its authoritative tone, slipping into something much more compassionate. "It's not the first time I've had to do this. I promise; it'll be one simple fix, and then the pain you're feeling will lessen, considerably. But we have to do it." Frank leaned in, keeping his hands to himself, but clearly waiting for her go-ahead. "I just need you to trust me."
Trust... a word so easily delivered, yet so painstakingly conserved. It wasn't that Percie didn't trust the son of Mars. Both he and Faith were perhaps the cuddliest of the Seven, and trusting either of them with anything was easy. So what was the reason for her hesitation?
Percie sighed, grabbing onto her knee with her free hand. "Of course I trust you, Frank. I don't want you to think I don't. But... the last time I dislocated my arm, the person who fixed it wasn't exactly... pleasant, about it."
Frank arched his eyebrow at her. "Who?"
She nodded at him. "Yeah; I still don't remember, or even know, what I did. Maybe I made the mistake of not greeting him in the appropriate way. Whatever the case, when I was nine, he had a rather violent outburst. It wasn't the first time that had happened, but it was the first time he actually did something major to me. The moment my arm popped out... he knew what it meant. And he knew there would be no hiding it... unless it was fixed."
Frank grimaced at the story, clearly anticipating what was coming next.
"Of course, I was screaming at the top of my lungs. Kid or not, dislocated arms hurt. That didn't help his mood." Percie swallowed in the middle of her story, trying to keep the more painful moments from overwhelming her. "If anyone found out what had happened, he'd be finished. So... he made sure my arm was back in its place. Of course, he wasn't very gentle about it."
She could recall it all too well; struggling despite the stinging in her shoulder, yet unable to fight the man who was several times stronger than her. He'd had to pin her to the floor, and press his knee down on her chest to keep her from squirming. How she didn't suffocate, she had no idea. He'd wretched her arm to the side, without taking the time to make sure he'd found the socket, and of course, the attempt failed. All it did was send more tendrils of agony lancing up her arm. All in all, it took more than four minutes of yelling, threats, and painful snapping before her arm finally popped back into place. He'd left her there, sniveling on the floor, for hours, until she'd dragged herself to her feet and locked herself in her room. When Sally had returned home... all evidence of what had transpired was gone. There was no wounded arm... and no Percie to tell her what had happened.
Frank let her tell the story in full, real anger flaring up in the praetor's brown eyes. That anger boiled over as she finished, but just as quickly as it arose, it dropped away again. "Percie, I'm sorry."
"I know. Nothing we can do about it now, though."
He tilted his head. "I wouldn't say that." Frank cautiously put one hand to her mangled shoulder, and while Percie did flinch at the touch, she didn't pull back this time. "Percie, I get it. That kind of event, at that age? I can see why this would freak you out so much. But I'm not Gabe." He made sure she was looking at him before he continued. "I promise; all I need is just one try at it. And there will be no unwanted tugging; no forceful snaps. It'll sting, but it'll be over just as quickly. First the shoulder, then the elbow. Two quick movements, then the ambrosia. Nothing more, and nothing less. You have my word."
He was so sincere... it was cute. In a "baby rhinoceros" way, but still cute. Percie winced at the idea, but she did ultimately nod. She knew he was good for it; Frank might've been a steel-hearted warrior when it came to combat, but he cared for his friends just as much as she did. This time, she was just the one who needed caring for.
At her nod, Frank gently took her arm in both hands, applying as little pressure to it as he could. Percie couldn't help quaking at the pain she did feel in response, but she otherwise held still. The praetor seemed to study the dislocation for a moment, before looking up at her with curiosity in his eyes. "Percie, what's your favorite kind of soup?"
She paused. "Uh... I guess it depends on the season. Tomato for the colder months, and Italian Wedding for the warmer ones."
He nodded at her answer. "Solid choices; do you have a preferred recipe for the tomato soup?"
Where was this going? "Um... my mom makes a great one using basil," she trailed off, glancing up at the sky to try and recall everything Sally put in her soups. "A lot of cooks recommend something like rosemary, but she always said rosemary tends to make the soup taste too much like toothpaste for her liking-" Her answer got cut off with a snapping sound, as Frank locked her shoulder back into place with one fluid jerk.
"Gah!" she shrieked, doubling back. "Frank, what the hell?!"
He shrugged at her. "Oldest trick in the book, Percie. When you're resetting a dislocated limb, the best way to do it is to distract the wounded party, so they're not anticipating it when it comes. Otherwise, they could tense up, and risk you missing on the reset."
"And you decided the best way to distract me was to make me talk about soup?!"
"Hey, it worked, didn't it?"
Percie made a face at him, his point proven. And he'd been faithful to his promise. Once the initial pain of having her shoulder snapped back into place faded, the agony that had been seizing her considerably lessened, at least in that part of her arm. Everything below her elbow was still twisting into knots, but it was better than where they'd started.
"Well, I hope you're proud of yourself, Frank," she settled, biting back more of her barbs. "As effective as the distract strategy was, now you've gone and told me about it. How can you expect it to work a second time, now that I know to be on the lookout for you making unrelated conversation?"
The praetor actually chuckled, moving his hands down to her lower arm. He examined it for a second, then smirked. "True enough. I don't know if I'll be able to come up with something so clever again. Say, what does Sally put in her seven-layer dip, again?"
Would you believe she fell for it again? Percie opened her mouth to answer that, since her mother's seven layer dip was always worth discussing. One second later, she realized exactly what had happened, but sadly for her, it only took Frank three quarters of a second to pop her elbow back into place.
More wails and curses bubbled from her mouth, most of which involved saying very unkind things about Frank's haircut, but yet again, the agony subsided a few moments after the limb had been put back in its proper arrangement. Percie slammed her mouth closed, shooting off the best death glare she could, which only got Frank laughing again.
"Am I good or what?" he taunted, reaching into his pocket and pulling out some of the ambrosia they'd packed. "Open wide, Percie; time for your medicine."
"I'm not a child, Frank!"
"You could've fooled me." He gestured the godly food at her. "C'mon. Putting it off is only going to make the soreness go on longer than it needs to. I know you're mad, but are you really so mad that you'll purposefully refuse the one thing that'll put you back on your feet?"
Despite how much she wanted to keep up the petulant act, Percie had to admit the Roman had a point. She took the ambrosia from him, getting in as many disdainful looks as she could while she chewed. Once she'd swallowed it down, she leaned back against the sand, waiting for the healing to kick in. Next to her, Frank shifted as well, taking a few bites of ambrosia himself.
She'd been so caught up in her own misery, she'd forgotten her companion had taken a pretty serious knock to the head, and that was before they fell into the gorge. "How bad are you hurting?" she asked him, trying to force some guilt down.
He shook his head. "I'll be fine; think I just got a bit of a concussion from that tap to the noggin. A few minutes, and I should be good as new, once the ambrosia kicks in."
"So you got smacked in the face with the blunt end of an arrow, fell off a two-hundred foot cliff, and ended up inhaling a bucketful of sand... and all you have to show for it is one lousy concussion?" Percie asked, befuddled. "I wish I had your durability, Frank."
The praetor seized up a little at that, his eyes going to the bag tied to his belt. Percie felt her breath catch as she remembered what was hidden away in there.
"Sorry," she mouthed, glancing off to the side. "I forgot about it."
He patted at the bag, still looking shaken. "No worries there; there are times where even I forget about it. You get so used to things hanging off you, you just stop noticing them. Even when those things are the only reason you're still alive."
Percie tried to flex the fingers on her right arm, to see if the ambrosia was taking effect yet. No luck. Though, on checking her pocket, she did have Riptide back. "What was Hera thinking, tying your life to that stupid piece of wood? The last person who got that treatment didn't end up so well."
"Technically, it was Juno."
"Same difference! Meleager was killed by his own mother, all because he defended himself from his brother and his uncle. Hera, or Juno, however you want to call her, would only do that again if she wanted something from someone, which never goes well for anyone. Life for demigods is hard enough as is, without the Queen of Olympus arbitrarily binding your life force to a piece of kindling."
Frank looked up at the sky, going quiet for a moment. "My grandmother said that Juno had a plan for me. Tying my life to the wood was supposed to lay the groundwork for my destiny... whatever it ends up being."
Percie had to hold back the audible scoff that threatened to escape her lips. "And the best way to do that was to bind you to something that could accidentally get yeeted into a firepit by some careless idiot? Unless your ultimate destiny is to become a vampire slayer, I don't see why Juno decided that was a good idea." Though... Vampire Slayer Frank Zhang sounded pretty cool. When she got back to her own world, she needed Faith to go out as Buffy for Halloween the next chance she got.
The son of Mars maintained his reflective posture, gazing over at Percie. "I know it's silly to think about, but ever since I left home, it's the one question that's been nagging at me more than anything. No one else I've ever met shares my predicament; having their destiny decided for them before they were ever born. I know prophecies make the whole thing a really complicated subject, but I'm currently marching towards an end goal I have literally no idea about."
Percie went still at that. "I hate to break it to you, Frank, but you just described a whole lot more people than just yourself."
"That last line: marching towards an end goal you know nothing about. That applies to literally everyone who doesn't have the ability to see the future; even the ones who can usually don't get many finer details, either. Sure, we can plan our futures out, and take steps to achieve those goals, but nothing is certain. If you told me the amount of shit I'd experience in less than two years, I'd laugh you out of existence. Yet here I am; having played a part in defeating two world-conquering tyrants and now living in a parallel world that's really only one of tens of thousands of other universes. I could never plan for any of that."
The praetor let that sink in. "Okay... but I've got a slight aberration to that fact. Some people might be marching to nothing. I don't get that, or even the luxury of not knowing if I'll come to anything or not. Something is waiting for me, at some point... and nothing I can do will change that."
Percie shrugged at him. "Sure. But even if that's the case, you still get to decide how you get there. All roads might eventually lead to the same path, but those branching roads differ more than you'll ever possibly know. And perhaps... one of those roads might provide the chance you need to succeed or fail at that destiny. No matter how fickle Fate can be, it can't change who you are, or the choices you end up making. So with all of that in mind, maybe the destiny you think you're marching towards is one you're going to make yourself."
Frank was mute at that, something Percie tried to read into. She got nowhere, though; the son of Mars seemed to wrestle with the implications of what she'd been saying, which Percie supposed would have to do. Regardless, she still didn't see the point of Juno reusing the old Meleager trick. Did the gods really have no creativity in the modern era? She'd heard of Hades reusing punishments in the Underworld to cut back on the budget, but reusing something as worn down as the "life-force MacGuffin" really seemed to be towing the line.
"I don't mean to put you on the spot, Frank," she told him, finally finding feeling in her right arm again. "Just... maybe focus more on the now, instead of on the future. What's going to happen will happen; the choice you have to make is whether or not you'll live your own life in spite of that."
She wanted to say more, and would have, but movement along the outer rim of the edge of the gorge caught her eye once she'd finished her sentence, forcing her to sit up. Frank, despite his pondering, also spotted it, leading to him following her lead. When the movement appeared again, this time closer, both demigods rose to their feet.
"Get behind me," Frank growled, putting one hand to his cape. Percie didn't need to be told twice; she jumped towards him, right as the arrow came streaking in. Frank just barely managed to catch it on the edge of his accessory, the projectile bouncing away.
"Does this guy ever give up?" the praetor asked her, covering both of them with his cape. Above them, the unmistakably lanky form of Crotus made the leap Arion couldn't, firing off four more arrows in rapid succession in mid-air. He landed on the other side, just as the arrows hit their mark. Luckily, all four got stopped by the Roman's defenses, something Percie hoped to exploit.
"Do you think there's any way we can lure him in close?" she asked, as Sagittarius once again passed overhead, raining down arrows and cries of anger in equal measure.
"I doubt it; he's got the high ground, and superior long range offense. I can't get a shot at him without exposing myself for too long; we don't have Arion to make us difficult targets any more."
More arrows came whizzing in, one almost getting through Frank's cape. As well-made as the Roman fabrics were, Crotus was a constellation older than many gods. He'd had millennia to perfect his craft. His arrows were no exception to that.
"Then what do you suggest we do?" Percie questioned.
Frank winced. "Proposing this hurts my pride more than I care to admit, but I think a retreat is our wisest course of action. He's bound to hit us sooner or later, if we stay here."
"Great idea on paper, but we don't have Arion. And I can't summon Blackjack without making him an easy mark for target practice. To make our prospects even worse, we're stuck at the bottom of a gorge, with no way out that I can see on either side." It wasn't usually Percie's nature to be so negative, but Crotus rubbed her the wrong way.
The son of Mars grunted at her objections. "All true; ergo, we'll have to be creative." He waited for the shower of arrows to end, as Crotus once again completed another soaring leap across the gorge. When he did, Frank yanked his cape down, turning to Percie with a determined glint in his eye. "Hold on."
She hated when Faith said that to her. Frank even more so; it never led to good things. So, when the praetor shifted into a giant dragon, and grabbed her in his claws, Percie predictably reacted in a poor fashion.
"I hate flying!" she cried out, as Dragon Frank soared into the air, his wings pumping with enough force to start a miniature tornado in the gorge below them. Crotus, who'd been getting ready to launch another volley, had to tuck and roll out of the way as they went flying out of the crevice, almost getting clipped by one of Frank's wings. Snarling, the Archer let loose, most of his arrows aimed at Percie.
Fortunately, Frank had been expecting that, and shielded her with his tail, most of the arrows bouncing off his scales, but a few stayed lodged in his hide. They'd have to deal with that once he switched back, but for now, their flight was uninterrupted, and they climbed out of arrow range. Not to be outdone so easily, Crotus scampered below them, trying to follow them on foot, but Frank took them higher, beyond the clouds, until the constellation was completely out of sight.
Even with their foe temporarily escaped, Percie wasn't very soothed by this development. All of the gods knew about her, and who she was. Including Zeus, who'd made it a point to blast any children of Poseidon unlucky enough to get high up in his domain. The only caveat was that Percie was literally the lynchpin of their plan to put the world back together; the King of Olympus might've been an impulsive asshole, but even he knew when to draw the line.
So, when the sky rumbled, and a bolt of lightning struck Dragon Frank in the back, Percie was honestly flabbergasted.
"What the hell, Zeus?!" she screamed as they both started to fall. The air above her head thundered again, but not in smug victory. More like shared confusion. If Percie read that right, then whoever just went nuclear on her and Frank wasn't the Big Man. Then whom?
That answer would have to wait, since Frank's dragon form started to blink out as they careened downwards, smashing through several trees as they came to a crash landing. Percie was released from Frank's grip the moment they hit the ground, left sputtering in a combination of both fury and shock as she rolled to her feet, her hair standing on end from the electric discharge that had been so close to her.
The praetor was in much worse shape: he'd reverted back to his normal form the moment he landed, and from where he'd ended up, he had at least three arrows sticking out of his legs, and was currently smoking. Literally.
"Frank!" Percie screamed, rushing to his side to feel for a pulse. She got nothing.
Her shock starting to get replaced by pure panic, Percie fished through his pockets, pulling out whatever ambrosia she could find and trying to coax his mouth open. It took some serious effort, but she managed to get him to down at least three pieces before a whistle caught her attention.
The man who'd signaled her was familiar; she'd seen him only yesterday, even if it was for just a short time. The naval outfit was the biggest clue.
"... Pollux?" she guessed, hoping she could find some way to distinguish the Twins from each other.
The one half of Gemini cackled. "Yes, Percie. Well done!" he congratulated her, turning around to the forest. "Castor! Percie just got my name right. She's the first person to do that in more than fifty years! I can't even remember the last one to do it."
Castor came skulking out of the tree line, grumbling. "I'm surprised it escapes your attention, brother. It was that swing dancer in Tulsa. The one with the cute butt, if I remember your exact words."
Pollux stroked his chin. "Hm... that does sound like me. Yes, I believe I do remember now. Marvin Tremaine, his name was. Oh, he had a fine eye for details. Whatever happened to him, anyway?"
"You killed him. Something about him not living up to your ideal standards."
"Hm... yep, that sounds like me, too."
Percie tried not to let her emotions get the better of her, facing down two warriors by herself, with Frank out of the action. "Hey! Enough with the commiseration," she snapped, uncapping Riptide and giving it a few test swings. Her arm seemed to be back to normal, so at least she had that going for her. "Are you two responsible for that freaking lightning strike?"
Pollux made a gasping sound. "Both of us? Perish the thought, Percie. That was all me. A neat trick, wouldn't you agree? Sadly, my dear twin does not posses the same powers I do. I keep telling him that it's not his fault he wasn't born a demigod, but all he ever gives me is this sullen look. Drives me bonkers."
"You came out of the egg bonkers, Pollux," Castor snapped.
"See? That's what I'm talking about, Castor. If you actually said the things that came to your mind more often, instead of grumbling them to yourself, you'd be a lot more memorable! Or at least way more fun to talk to."
Percie waited for a stalemate in the argument to press forward. "Demigod? So... wait, Pollux is one, and Castor isn't? But you're literally twins! How could you have different parents?"
Pollux shrugged. "Eh, it's a funny story, really. So Castor was the child of the King of Sparta, Tyndareus, and his wife Leda. Likewise, I also had Leda as my mother, but instead of boring old Tyn, Momma went and got herself seduced by Zeus himself. Granted, Zeus had disguised himself as a swan to do his seduction, hence me being born out of an egg, but details, details! Regardless, my dear brother and I are identical, in every way... minus the whole electric powers thing." He smirked. "And my charming personality compared to his dingy attitude; can't forget that."
The other twin went back to his muttering, eyeing both his brother and Percie with disgust.
Percie had to search for her next words. "So... you're the one who blasted Frank out of the sky, Pollux?"
"That's me! Be honest; does Castor here seem talented enough to pull that off? Mr. Zhang over there is lucky to still be breathing, assuming he even is."
The daughter of Poseidon rolled her eyes. "I'm not interested in your family drama. I just wanted to thank you, Pollux. For volunteering."
The demigod half of Gemini blinked at her. "Volunteering? For what?"
"You see, I was trying to figure out which one of you I should kill first." Percie twirled Riptide in her hand. "Now that I know which one of you just hurt my friend, that choice is a lot less complicated." She didn't wait for the Twins to react, or pull their weapons. Instead, she jumped at them.