Gregory Entwirren was a recently divorced father of two. This was not, however, what attracted a goddess to him.
He was a psychologist, with a double major in experimental psychology. He was obsessed with the functions of the brain, and the different patterns and such of it. It was his mystery to crack, his puzzle to solve, his maze to unlock. He wrote mainly papers on his theory of the mind, which Ariadne read. She found this take on mazes to be attractive, and so she visited Gregory in his hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey.
Disguised as a college student majoring in psychology, she pressed him on his theories and beliefs on the human mind, saying it was for a psych paper she was writing. He excitedly explained everything, hoping to both spread a love of experimental psychology, and maybe gain more recognition in classrooms.
After the first meeting, they met a few more times to discuss. Gregory found the girl beautiful, but she was young, and he didn’t want to take advantage of her naivety. She was, of course, no naive little girl, but a goddess of many years. On their third meeting, which took place late in a bar, she coaxed him into drinking one to many, and the two ended up sleeping together. She left the next day, leaving a note of thanks for all the lessons and discussions. He was somewhat heart broken, but got over it quickly.
He didn’t expect that, 9 months later, she would appear once more in his life to leave a baby boy. She said he’d grown quickly, and, being a broke college girl, had no way to care for the kid. He’d be better off in Gregory’s care. She, however, did ‘’not’’ explain that she was actually a goddess, and had kept the child in Olympus for four months, to keep up the pretence of being a mortal girl. She wanted to see how his background in psychology would affect the upbringing of his child. Would he even use his son as a lab rat?
Jansen grew up a happy and bubbly child. Like many children of his time, he enjoyed experimenting, and finding new paths. He was quite the little investigator. Gregory would subject him once in a while to psychological tests, but nothing major as it could cause mental effects on him. Instead, he mainly observed and took notes on Jansens behavior, using different punishers and seeing which would provide the result wished for when he misbehaved. They were somewhat poor, as his ‘’job’’ of testing and creating theories did not pay much. He eventually got a job at a nearby university to pay the rent, and had to put Jansen into the nearby public pre-school.
Pre-school became a central memory for two things; his love of mysteries, and his sexuality. He was always curious about what the teachers did during recess, why it was that Mrs.Applebottom (his teacher) always left the class to go talk to Mr.Yggirs (another pre-school teacher), and why many girls seemed to stare at him, then run away from cooties. He deduced, with some investigating, that the teacher’s would go to the teacher’s lounge during recess to talk about and slander their students, Mrs.Applebottom needed help dressing up and releasing ‘tensions’ of the lower spectrum, and that the girls seemed to find him cute, but didn’t want to admit it. He continued on, solving little mysteries like that throughout his preschool years.
Then came the biggest mystery; why couldn’t two boys be together? He was playing in the doll house with his buddies Sandra and Prescott when he suggested he play the parents. When he got out two male figures to be the dads, they reacted with shock. "Ew, why two daddies? Mommy and Daddy are normalier." This made him question. "Why? What's wrong with two daddies?" Prescott stuck out his tongue. "Its weird. Kids are supposed to have a mom and dad. A boy with a boy is yuck." At the end of the day, his teacher called him to talk to him privately."I heard about today's incident. You must understand, they've never seen a boy with a boy. For them, it's a new concept." He nods his head. "But aren't there any boys who like boys?" The teacher sighed. "Yes, but they can't do much about it. It's illegal to get married in U.S. to someone of your same sex." This shocked Jansen. "But what about land of the free?" she shook her head. "It's land of the free if you're not different; now, off you go." Many thoughts swirled in his mind after that.
The next day, a group of boys approached him. The leader, a bully named Danny, questioned him. "I heard that you think a two daddies are okay. Is that true?" Remembering the conversation with the teacher the day before, he shook his head vehemently. Danny continued. "Do you think two mommies would be okay?" his voice had a snarky undertone. Again, Jansen shook his head vehemently. A kid in the crowd yelled, "he probably likes boys! That's why he supports them!" Finally, Jansen snapped. "Boys are ew!!! Boys with boys and girls with girls are icky, stop saying stupid stuff. Just thinking of it makes me throw up." He made a gagging motion. Three times he was questioned. Three times he was denied. All before the cock crowed.
He decided to put such things out of his mind. Instead, he focused on other mysteries. One of which, was the mystery of dance. He'd seen dancers on tv, and found the way they moved to be exquisite and beautiful. Jansen privately taught himself hip hop dancing through television, but he wanted a better education. He tried asking his dad to enroll him in dance lessons, but they didn't have the money.
Things changed when, at age seven, his dad married again. This time to a woman named Sashona Yeats. Ironically, Sashona had been the name Ariadne gave when she pretended to be a mortal girl. The woman was nice enough, a reporter for the new york times. But she had a kid with her, three years younger than Jansen. Her name was Caroline. At first, they didn't along. They fought all the time over trivial stuff. Finally, Gregory offered Jansen dance lessons if he could behave himself with Caroline. He agreed to the terms.
It turns out, Caroline was much cooler than he thought. Like him, she wanted to study dance, so they entered classes together. Over time, she became his best friend, and he considered her more of a sister then any of his dad's other kids.
Time went on. Sashona had a baby a year after the marriage, then twins two years after that. He easily made friends, as he was a nice kid. Many girls came in and out of crushes on him, which he never reciprocated. Once, when he was about eleven, he'd even confided in Caroline that he just didn't like anybody. All the other boys were hormone crazy over the girls, but he just didn't go with them. He never admitted anything else.
Sashona had another kid when he was about 12, so the whole family packed up, and moved to a bigger house, still in Hoboken. It was a lot closer to Carlo's Bakery, so on weekends, Jansen and Caroline would go and eat sweets. One day, while at the bakery, he'd been ordering some lobster tails when a woman passed by and bumped his shoulder. Now, considering the amount of people packed in the store, this was normal. What was not normal was the fact that she'd slyly stuffed a ring in his pocket. Jansen, knowing the streets and the way people could be, had a bit of a sixth sense for when people tried to mug him. He stuck his hand in his pocket, only to find the wring. He quickly followed the woman, curious as always to know what was up. She finally stopped and turned to him when they got on a quiet, deserted street. He asked her why she'd given him the object. She simply answered she was a messenger from his mother, sent to give him a gift. She instructed him to twist the top of the ring when in danger. clockwise for protection, counterclockwise for attack. She then took her leave, running into the twisted mazes of the of the streets. Disappearing forever from his life. Once he was safe in his room, he turned the maze-patterned ring as instructed. To his shock, a sword (celestial bronze) appeared when turned counterclockwise. He soon learned that to change it back, he just twisted it's movable hilt. Clockwise turned out to be a shield (celestial bronze.) He had no clue why his mother would send him such a gift, or even how such a gift would've come to be. Jansen began doing some research.
At thirteen, he encountered his first monster attack. He'd been making a personal map of the streets of hoboken when he ran into a cute stray. Who turned out to be not so cute. The hellhound went to take a chunk of his leg. He jumped back in surprise, then raised a wall of a labyrinth. It surprised him, but It'd been a fight or flight response action. He ran from there, back home. He felt stupid for not remembering his weaponized ring, which he'd been wearing. But now he knew its purpose. Why did a killer dog from hell try and kill him, why did his mom know this would happen. Who was his mom anyways?
At fourteen, two important thing happened. One, he got attacked by another monster, this time a Scythian Dracnae. He managed to shove his sword in her, probably the only female thing he'd want to shove his sword up. This helped him to begin completeing a thesis that maybe creatures of myth were coming to attack him due to his mom. He didn't know why, or why they existed, but it was the only somewhat logical conclusion. Besides being crazy, of course.
The second, and most important thing that happened was that a new kid came to school. At first, it didn't have much of an impact on Jansen, who didn't even know of the boy. It took a chemistry project, halfway through the year, to finally bring him to meet Alfie Kaejin. By then, Jansen had already turned 15. He seemed to be a bit of a loner but, they soon got to know each other better than they knew their dissected frog. Alfie was a true friend, and he even began to ditch Caroline to hang out with him. But then, the summer came, and Alfie was mysteriously whisked out of his life. It felt to Jansen like he'd lost a part of himself.
A harpy attacked him that summer. It took some more effort to kill it, (including a few more scratches and bruises), but he managed to do it. His experience in dancing helped him much in his footwork. His studies began to lack a bit as he tried to discover the truth about himself. His mother was important, that he knew for sure, and that she had a tie to the monsters. He felt like he was in some bad fantasy novel. He questioned his father on her, but he was as clueless as he was.
16 came like a blow. He liked a friend of his, kind of as a crush. But he was a guy, and he didn't understand how to handle these feelings. At the same time, Caroline was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was growing, but doctors were unsure as to whether it be malignant or not. His guy friend comforted him, as a friend should, but Jansen felt confused and unsure. He couldn't talk to Caroline, because she seemed to be going through a faze of shock. He couldn't talk to Alfie, because Alfie was gone. He trusted no one else with the topic.
Three stymphilian birds went to attack him too, but that was easily avoided by ducking into a sewer and hiding out for an hour or so. The birds were scary and he didn't have the skill to take them out of the sky with his sword.
Finally, many questions were answered at 17. Caroline was confirmed to have metastatic pineoblastoma, a malignant brain tumor. It was said to be terminal. She broke up with her boyfriend of the time, and emotionally closed herself from the family. Except for Jansen, of course. He held her through her pain and sadness, an experience that would come useful later in his life. Then, his parents announced they were divorcing. They claimed it was due to loss of romance, but he knew, from his research, it was that Sashona had not been faithful. In fact, none of the kids they'd had together were actually blood related to his father. He'd heard them arguing silently in Gregory's office. His father would never tell them, however. Then his guy friend got a girl friend. As if he couldn't feel any worse.
It was a relief when a giant scorpion attacked him. He pulled the usual wall trick, just so he didn't have to fight the beast with his meagerly sword skills. A satyr, who'd been tracking Jansen for six months, saw this and approached Jansen. He asked him a few questions, which Jansen thought odd. They all related to seeing things over the years. He took out his sword, then questioned the satyr back. The satyr grew all scared and told him he was just there to help, even taking off his pants to show his legs. Jansen, finding his alibi convincing and fitting to the theory he'd developed, accepted what the satyr was saying. The satyr then implored him to go to a special camp for kids like him, to get training. With everything that was going on at home, he obliged, wishing to get far away from the situation.
They explained that it was a boarding school, and his dad and almost ex-step-mom accepted. As Jansen packed his bags, Caroline came into his room. She was crying. They had a fight over selfishness, death, and the point of living. He soon left, taking a drive to Camp with the satyr.