Kade and Winter’s father, George Johnson, was a med student at Boston University when he met Athena. She was posing as a guest lecturer one day, and he was taken at once with her beauty. He convinced her after class to go out to lunch with him, and the two eventually hit it off.
The two talked together about medical thesis’ and the nuances of the brain well into the night, but Athena said she had to leave the city the next day, and they wouldn't be able to see each other again. She hastily explained her godhood to George. For some reason, he was inclined to believe her. When she left, it was the last he ever saw of her. A week later, two babies arrived on his doorstep. Knowing they must have been from Athena, he decided to raise them.
Kade and Winter were inseparable in their childhood. It was evident from the first grade forward that both of them would be advanced. During middle school, which they started at age nine and not eleven, they got all the same advanced classes. Despite the age difference between the siblings and their classmates, they got a reputation for being kind to everyone and humble about their accomplishments, and had many friends.
In high school, starting at age 12, Kade and Winter formed an intense, competitive, friendly sibling rivalry. They joined all the clubs they could - Model UN, Debate,Student Council, Speech club, the whole lot - just to see who was smarter. They were usually pretty balanced. Winter loved to be the devil’s advocate against Kade, though they agreed on almost everything.
Their life was relatively normal, their academics notwithstanding, until their junior year at age 13. On their way out of school one day, they heard a voice call "Help" from the gym. Wondering what was up, they followed her voice. That was a big mistake. The gym doors slammed shut of their own accord. They immediately started pulling on the locked doors, and gave up after a couple of seconds.
They turned and saw in the center of the room a boy, roughly the age of 14. The boy beckoned the siblings forward with a wave of his hand, and they stepped forward, wondering why the boy needed them. The two parties watched each other at first, the boy studying the twins.
The boy broke the silence and spoke in a quiet voice, "Cursed I am, and no cure there be. Answer this riddle to survive your encounter with me." The twins never knew, but Apollo had cursed the boy. His name was Alex. He had tried stealing Apollo's lyre, and in turn, Apollo forced him to speak in riddles and never in straight sentences. If the person answered correctly, they lived, but if they answered incorrectly, they died by Alex's sword. This was his punishment.
Alex unsheathed a sword and pointed it at the twins. Thee who should answer this riddle shall live. Thee who should not shall perish. There are two sisters: one gives birth to the other and she, in turn, gives birth to the first. Who are the two sisters?” Winter stepped forward first, with little hesitation. “Day.” Then Kade stepped beside her and completed the solution, “And night.”
Alex nodded. "Thee shall live." And he walked out of the gym. The twins looked at each other in shock. "What had just happened?" Kade asked. The twins followed Alex, but he was gone. Kade and Winter decided walking home that day that nobody would believe what they saw, and never talked about it.
Near the end of their senior year, when the kids were 15, Winter started contracting fevers several times in a row. After a week, George started to worry and took her to a hospital, where the doctors announced after a couple tense days of testing that she had late-stage HIV missed in early diagnosis. Because Winter wasn't born like traditional children, she had never been tested for it. She seemed to have been born with the disease. The symptoms of AIDS set in quickly, and with little warning. Kade was devastated at the news his sister and friend had only a week to live.
Despite the hospital’s recommendation that Winter be alone so she could be more properly treated, Kade gave up on his previously perfect attendance to skip school for that week and be beside her. He was distraught, and would hold back tears when told he had to leave for the night, but Winter was always smiling. She did her best to assure him that everything would be fine. On the last night of her life, she said to him, "You’re really smart, Kade, and a good person and a good friend. Don’t cry over me. Live a happy life. Promise?" It took a while to get over his grief, but Kade decided he would do the best he could to live up to that promise. A month later he graduated high school with a 4.2 and full honors. He would be sure to do the best he could at all he did, for his sister’s sake.
In the middle of summer, on his way from a summer college course, Kade was attacked by a Scythian Dracanae. It attacked him while he took a walk on the beach one summer night. It was the summer after he had graduated and the beach was deserted for some unknown reason. Anyways, Kade was walking along the water's edge when he heard a splash and a hiss. He turned and saw what he could only describe has a half women half snake humanoid. It slithered its trunk and started squeezing Kade making his body start to fall asleep from oxygen loss. He screamed for help not expecting anything but little did he know there was a Oceanid nearby whose life force was attached to the water source there and it heard his call of help. The Oceanid approached the Scythian Dracanae. Meanwhile Kade was trying to hit the creature with his fist to his distaste. It was ineffective, as his arms were barely getting any oxygen, but he then saw a figure that looked like a young girl but she had some small weapon protruding out of her hand that looked bronze.
But then before Kade’s eyes she disappeared in for a second leaving behind what looked like a splash of water before reappearing behind the Scythian Dracanae and stabbing the bronze object that was no clearly a dagger into the creatures back it howled in pain before dropping Kade and facing the young girl. Kade was very confused about what was happening and it did not help he couldn't move or feel his limbs due to oxygen deprivation but he could see the young girl battling the creature the young girl seemed to have to reflexes of a soldier who trained for a long time dodging every move the creature made and throwing in her own skillful stabs after what seemed like an eternity of waiting the creature finally made one last scream being filled with stab wounds, it exploded into dust. Kade couldn't make sense of anything that was going on anymore and he figured he must have gone insane.
The girl came up to Kade and introduced herself although Kade did not hear it partly because his brain was slightly lacking oxygen but mostly because he was in a state of denial of what just happened. She helped him up and explained that she could sense he was a demigod and for that matter what a demigod was and about the monsters he had experienced and about Camp Half-Blood.
Before long she explained she was an Oceanaid who was created 3000 years ago by Poseidon to help local wildlife and keep away settlers who were destroying nature in the Boston bay area. It all came as a surprise to him, but it made sense. The meeting with the Alex was all the evidence he needed. Knowing now that it wasn't safe for him to live on his own, he asked the girl to take him to the camp. She explained that she had to stay in the area, but took out an old coin and used the spray of the waves to send an iris message to a satyr and asked him to show Kade the way.
Kade sat around with the girl and asked her all kinds of questions about the gods and monsters. He figured he should know as much as possible about the new life he would be thrown into. After a few hours the satyr arrived and the two took a train to New York, getting to camp well into the night.