It all began in the city of Liverpool, UK. Here, a young woman by the name of Victoria Brody was serving in the Royal Air Force as a fighter pilot. At the age of 33 she met an American from New York at a local bar whom she would forge a relationship with. He had introduced himself as Jack and had immediately taken an interest in the bubbly pilot. The man engaged in relations with Victoria and they began to frequently see each other. After a while Victoria received shocking news: she was pregnant. This would force her to resign from the RAF before being honorably discharged. In response, Jack confessed that his true identity was Zeus, god of the sky, and left a pregnant Victoria on her own to fend for herself and soon a baby. She would never forgive Zeus, the love of her life, for leaving her just when she needed him most. Nine months down the road Asher was born.
Asher was an interesting child. He was clever and a quick study, making his school career rather successful. He soon found himself in all the honors classes and even some of the extra-curriculum ones. He was active in after school activities including the Debate Team and the Math Team. However, academics weren't his only strong suit. He soon found his passion in soccer which he played alongside his academic activities. During the off-season he stayed in shape via Track and Field. He naturally possessed speed, agility, and endurance. At the age of ten Ash moved to Manhattan to start a new life. At school, Ash continued to participate in the same activities and performed with equal success as he had in Britain. During this time he made friends with a girl named Carly. Carly was quick to befriend Ash and she soon became his closest friend. Oddly, she always seemed to stare at him, as if she new something about him that he didn't.
Asher's first encounter would occur at the age of eleven. It was sixth grade and Ash was in the midst of an after-school soccer match. It was a memorable game for the youth as the young lad scored three goals to make it a hat trick. As the game concluded, the score 5-1, Asher was greeted by a startled Carly. She was shaking and her skin was a pale white. Unclear of what had rattled this rather strong girl, Ash opted to prod a little. Not so subtly he took the straightforward approach. "Carly. What's wrong?" he asking.
She responded in a hush tone. "Uh, let's just say we need to leave. Now!" Still confused, Ash chose to trust her. He knew that if she was worried than it was with good reason. And if she was worried about him then he should definitely be concerned. Following Carly's lead he left the field, though every second he grew more curious. Finally, he stopped, grasping his friend by the shoulders. "Carly. Where are we going?"
"Why? What are we running from?"
This time Carly didn't even try to dodge the question. He wasn't moving till he got some answers.
"They're coming for us. Me and you. They'll kill us both if we stay."
She grew silent for a moment before letting out an exasperated sigh. "Stymphalian birds."
"What? Y-you mean like the Greek birds."
Carly nodded pointing up and behind Ash. "I'll explain later. We're outta time."
Following her finger, Ash caught sight of their persuers. The metallic birds weren't far behind, and coming in fast over the field. The two of them were at the edge of a treeline which Ash realized could provide cover for them against these strange foes. Grabbing his friend by the wrist he pulled her along as he flew into the trees, not interested in learning anymore about these birds. After just ten steps into the woods the birds were already soaring above the treeline. Trying to shake them, he turned sharply to his left dragging Carly with him. Sprinting through bushes and between trees, thorns dug into his arms and legs and twigs slashed across his face. Leaves tussled his already messy hair and found themselves tangled into the mop. Taking a right with Carly's wrist still held in a death grip, Ash eyed the terrain ahead spotting a small, shallow cave. He made a b-line for the cave, the birds hot on their trail. Halfway to the safehaven, he felt a tug on his arm. He turned just in time to see Carly trip in a small ditch and stumble in the dirt. She rolled, grasping her ankle in pain. Ash, knowing that he could easily make it on his own with the birds converging on Carly, turned back and covered the few meters between them. With the first of the birds pecking at their arms and legs, Ash swung her arm around his neck and hauled her to her feet, eliciting a pained groan from his friend. On her feet she limped, with his assistance, and the two pushed on with the birds tearing away at the cloth on their backs. Stumbling into the cave, the two collapsed in a heap on the hard ground. This did little to halt the birds who swarmed into the cave. Carly, still on the ground with her injured ankle stretched out in front of her, withdrew a clip from her hair and held it out. In an instant it morphed into a full sized bow. On her back was a quiver full of arrows which Ash hadn't seemed to notice. She nocked an arrow and let it fly, repeating this process and taking down five birds in a matter of seconds. However, the birds were too many and Carly's defense was too little. The birds soon overwhelmed them and the cave was filled with flapping wings and piercing beaks. Ash, selfless to the end, threw his body over his friend, wrapping her up in his arms and shielding her from the swarming attack. Unconsciously, he summoned a small bolt of lightning in the cave opening which fried most of the birds inside the cave. Awestruck but not wanting to stick around Ash led Carly out the cave and around the back. Reaching the street the two sprinted and limped down the sidewalk hoping the birds would relent. They did not. In fact, they'd already regrouped and were preparing for another offensive.
"Blast! They've gotta have a weakness of some sort!" Ash exclaimed.
Thinking hard Carly forced herself to remember every little scrap of Greek mythology. "Uhh...noise!"
Ash looked dubious. "What?"
Carly was now more confident then before. "We need something to make a loud noise to confused them."
"Great. Like what?"
"Well, Heracles used bells..."
"Alright well we don't have bells...but we do have..." His sentence trailed off as his eyes drifted to a street lamp. Ash's intentions quickly dawned on Carly who handed him a celestial bronze dagger with a bolt-shaped blade. He took the weapon eagerly and darted to the lamp with Carly right behind. And with the birds closing in from all around Ash swung...at the lamp. Metal struck metal and a ringing erupted from the street corner. The birds in response ceased their approach and fluttered around in confusion. This gave Carly time to pick them off after which the two fled to an abandoned house in a rather lonely corner of town. Here Carly explained that the Gods are real...very real. And that they were demigods to be claimed by their Godly parent. She stated that she was a daughter of Apollo which granted her exceptional skill in archery. She explained how monsters terrorize demigods and live to take vengeance on the children of the Gods. He was then introduced to Gil, Carly's satyr protector.
"It was Gil who found you. When he realized what you are he sent me in to get you," Carly explained.
When Ash tried to return Carly's dagger she insisted he keep it.
"No, you keep it. It was a friend of mine's. Child of Zeus. It served him well. Perhaps it'll serve you better. Besides...you're gonna need it."
With that Ash elected to return home to think about his next move.
A year later, Ash would once again be forced back into reality. He was walking through the park with his two new friends, all of whom were unsuspecting of what was coming. Through the trees came a giant scorpion. Ash immediately drew Carly's dagger and prepared for the coming fight while Carly herself paled but drew her clip-bow and also prepared herself. Gil simply drew a sword. Luckily it was early on a Sunday morning and the park was basically empty. Although Carly had explained the Mist to him, Ash figured people were just better off not see anything at all. Soon the scorpion was on top of them, its stinger poised at the ready, its pincers snapping in anticipation. Carly wasted no time and immediately began nocking arrows and letting them loose at the scorpion's face. Her shots, perfect in essence, were blocked by the scorpion's giant pincers. It launched a surprisingly quick attack with its tail striking down, getting its tail stuck in the ground in the process. The trio scattered except for Ash who wrapped his arms around the scaly tail and held on for dear life. The scorpion whipped its tail back angrily trying to shake the young demigod free. Relentless, Ash shimmied his dagger under an armored plate and continued this process along the monster's tail until he reached its back. Moving frantically to shake Ash free the scorpion focused on the others as well, snapping violently at the ground below. Nevertheless Ash would not be deterred as he scampered across the thing's back. "Gil! Sword!"
Gil tossed his sword in a high arc which Ash barely managed to catch in his offhand. Raising both blades high he brought them down penetrating an uncovered neck. The scorpion let loose a fury of snaps and strikes which proved to be futile and dropped, dead. The beast shattered into a pile of sand which Ash was now knee deep in.
Getting to Camp:
For the next two years the trio ran away from home to fend for themselves. Frequently they would steal from convenience stores and gas stations for food. Finally, the world became to much for the young demigods and they were forced to seek refuge among Camp Half-blood. Gil knew the way and would lead them to this safe haven. They set out at noon, late because of a storm in the morning. Travelling by cab they made a number of stops along the way but limited such out of fear of attack. Finally, just a few blocks from Camp, such an attack occured. A trio of hellhounds pursued them through these last blocks, engaging the demigods just outside camp. Whether methodically or not the hounds each pursued a different demigod, scattering them around the immediate vicinity. Ash fled into the woods but failed to outrun his pursuer. Knowing this to be futile he chose to confront the hound with his dagger. The hound lunged knocking him back a few feet. He held his ground but another lunge sent him stumbling back again. In the midst of all this Ash failed to notice the brewing storm that had picked up again until a bolt of lightning struck a nearby tree. The oak tree was split down the middle, charred and tainted black. Catching sight of an object inside the now split bark, Ash scrambled to the smoking trunk and snatched the object. It was a pocket knife with a bronze colored hilt and a gleaming bronze blade tucked in tight. Dubious as to what this most recent addition to his armament could do that his dagger couldn't, Ash flicked the blade out. To his astonishment, the knife morphed into a full sized celestial bronze sword with a blue lightning bolt and the name Kataigída etched into the hilt. Somehow in some weird way he understood the Greek language. It said Storm. Wasting no time Ash prepared himself to face the hound. As the beast lunged Ash sidestepped and brought his sword down with all his strength, slashing it in two. He didn't even see the monster crumble into sand as he was already turning towards his friends. Where was Carly. Where was Carly. As if in response to his thoughts Carly's voice rang out from the hill which he would later learn to be Half-Blood Hill. "Ash! Ash!" Her cries were shrill enough to convince Ash of her desperation. He raced out of the trees after his friend knowing that every second he wasted death drew nearer. Bursting out of the treeline Ash was frozen by the sight that greeted him. Carly was halfway up the hill and retreating slowly. This was, he noticed, due to a large gash cut into her leg forcing her to limp up the hill, taking tiny, painful steps. Her arrow supply was depleted and her bow had been discarded on the now muddy hill. Her hands were out in front of her, balancing her progression as she inched backwards up the hill. The hellhound stalked slowly up the hill after its prey, baring its teeth in a snarl. Then, before Ash could react, it lunged. Carly's eyes went wide and she reflexively hopped backwards. However, her efforts were in vain. Hopping backwards up a muddy hill with an injured leg proved to be futile. And Ash stood idly by and watched as his closest friend slipped, lost her footing, fell to the ground, and was helpless to elude her executioner. The hellhound landed on top of the petite girl using its superior weight and slashed relentlessly at the tender flesh of its prey. In a frantic, last-ditch effort of survival Carly held her arm between her face and the hound's, prompting the beast to lash out at the arm rather than her face or neck. It latched onto the arm with its powerful jaws, eliciting a scream from Carly. Ash, now free of his shock-induced immobility, raced after the hellhound. Lashing out with his leg he caught the beast square in the jaw, knocking it off of its victim. The hound rolled once, steadying itself, and growled at this interloper. But Ash would not be intimidated. He sliced through the hound's front legs sending it to the ground. Twirling his sword high in the air he then brought it down with all his force into its abdomen. The beast whimpered and died. Rushing to Carly's side Ash's face paled when he laid eyes on his dying friend. Her face, along with her shoulders and torso were covered in deep gashes made by the hellhound's claws. Her arm, with which she'd attempted to shield herself, was broken, the bone jutting out at an odd angle. The appendage simply hung limp by her side. Aside from her shallow breathing and her soft, agonizing moans all was quiet. Finally, Carly broke the quiet with her now coarse, blood-filled words.
All at once the tears flowed down his cheeks. This was all happening so fast. She couldn't die. Not now and not like this. But she was dying... because he'd failed to save her. He should've been there, he should've been faster...
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
What she'd wanted to say Ash would never know. He clipped her discarded clip-bow in her hair and carried her up the hill. Reaching the top he noticed Gil waiting for him with whom he assumed to be a sentry. The third hellhound carcass lay at Gil's feet, a sword wound in its neck and abdomen. When his eyes drifted to Carly, the demigod whom he was tasked with protecting, they sunk to the ground staring at his feet in shame. But he said nothing, for he could already see the grief in Ash's electric-blue eyes. Continuing into Camp, a realization struck him. With Gil heading back out to find more demigods Ash was once again starting over. For better...or for worse...he'd made it.