Daphne Connors was an insomniac. She could never sleep well; so she filled her time by creating haunting artworks, a result of her inability to sleep. She was never a famous artist, and she struggled to make a living in New York. Hypnos met her in the summer of 1999 after her latest exhibition. He was attracted by her artistic nature, and her connection to sleep. Daphne dated Hypnos for a while, as he disguised himself as a fellow artist. Whenever he was around, she felt calm and at ease, able to sleep peacefully. Eventually the two slept together, and she delivered a healthy baby boy nine months later.
Hypnos left her a note to explain his true identity and a beaded bracelet for her son to remember him by. Daphne was fairly heartbroken and she struggled to sleep throughout the pregnancy. In addition, she was worried about her son’s well-being, as Hypnos had warned her to be careful of monsters. She needed to find somewhere safe. After asking various contacts in the art world to find ‘somewhere she could work in peace’, a colleague suggested that Daphne should move to a hippy commune, where she could work on her art in peace. She did some research and found about The Farm in Tennessee, a small community founded in the days of Free Love and Woodstock. After a short visit, she moved there with her infant son who was about two.
Hayden, as he came to be known, was raised there for most of his childhood. He was raised as a vegetarian, taught by home-schooling and helped with any handiwork around the farm. His mom made a base living, selling her work. Life at The Farm was good, although it could be lonely for a young boy like himself, as most of the inhabitants were baby-boomers. He spent many sleepless days and nights tinkering with various machines and reading anything which interested him at the time. He eventually made friends with Jerry, one of the local residents. Unbeknownst to Hayden, Jerry was a son of Ares who died in battle during the Vietnam War in the 60’s before becoming a peace nymph. Jerry had spotted a couple of telekhines in the local water source, who seemed to be interested in the ten year old.
He persuaded them to leave with his powers before Hayden could spot them amidst the mud. Guessing that Hayden was a demigod, he took the kid under his wing for some time. Often Jerry would tell the son of Hypnos his war stories and show him cool tricks, in return for Hayden’s help around the house. It was an odd relationship but it worked for the two.
Things changed for the worse a few years later. Hayden had begun to suspect that something about him was different. Sometimes when he was asleep, he could see visions and look into people’s dreams. He accidentally had a habit of looking into Jerry’s dreams, and some of his mom’s, whenever she actually slept. Both dreams hinted that they were scared of him, for him. Jerry and Daphne had begun to speak and debate when to tell Hayden the truth. He sometimes heard snippets of conversation. One day near his thirteenth birthday, Hayden directly asked his mom what was wrong with him.
His mom told him the truth about his identity, and gave him a bracelet that belonged to his father. It turned into a mist-form machete in his hands. Although violence wasn’t advocated there, Jerry agreed to continue training the young demigod until he chose to leave for camp. They were in a remote location, and the smell of humans, animals and other illicit substances probably hid him from most monsters in the area. He fought his first monster around the age of fourteen, a small hellhound who had caught his scent on a gathering expedition. He slowly lulled the monster to sleep, like he’d been practicing with Jerry then managed to mask his scent and hide before the hellhound could wake up. Afterwards Hayden was careful not to run into any more monsters.
As Hayden grew more independent, Daphne began to leave the commune more often. She normally went to sell her art and get supplies. Fortunately, she made enough money to send him away to a summer camp, designed for kids who were interested in engineering, maths and science. Jerry was reluctant to send the kid away, where he’d more vulnerable to monster attacks, but Daphne felt that it would be a good chance for him to interact with the outside world. Although he didn’t initially socialise, he found solace in the company of kids who had similar interests. A girl he knew - Callie, daughter of Athena noticed the attack. She blasted out music from her ipod, that disoriented the birds and caused them to scatter away. Realising that Hayden was a demigod, she got fairly close to him, and the two shared their first kiss.
Everything seemed to be going great until his mother had a heart attack, as a direct cause of her severe insomnia. He was notified by the local authorities. As his grand-parents had recently died, Hayden rushed back home to care for his mother. He looked after her for several months, though he missed camp. He still kept in touch with Callie, through a modified tablet that she had given him. Normally, it would’ve attracted loads of monster attention. However, she was a demigod daughter of Athena and thus, had rigged the tablet to connect to the internet via a series of proxies, to reduce any likelihood that his scent would attract unwanted attention.
The internet was a totally new experience for Hayden, and it opened up the world for him. Callie introduced him to several forums; such as 4chan, Reddit, Steam, Roll20. He took to digital life like a duck to water, and spent many days refining his programming and coding skills. Jerry felt like Hayden was starting to slack off, however the peace nymph approved of him for socialising with kids his own age. Callie eventually told him the truth, and they both made plans to go to Camp Half-Blood, or the Broken Covenant together. She created a forum with several other demigods, a coded network to convey important information to each other; locations of monsters, safe hideouts, ‘like if you were a real 330 BC kid’ memes.
Hermes, being the god of information and the internet, noticed these forums. He kept an eye on Hayden, and eventually decided to test him. If Hayden could steal one of Apollo’s horses, then Hermes would steal some of Apollo’s medicine to make his mother better. Hayden agreed and Callie tagged along with him. They managed to hitch a ride up towards Olympus, and work out a way to steal the horses without getting caught. It was a win-win situation for both of them - Hermes would get one over his brother and the son of Hypnos would cure his mother’s illness. Hayden agreed and Callie tagged along with him. They managed to hitch a ride up towards Olympus with one of Hermes’ messenger nymphs. The plan was for Hayden to rewire one of Hephaestus’ robots to walk into Olympus, pose as a maintenance automaton and steal the horse when everyone else was occupied.
However, the robot malfunctioned as there were magic barriers which stopped it from working. Having had a strange vision about his horses, Apollo came to check up on them when he caught the robot. Hayden and Callie were caught, and about to be tried by the Olympian Council. Callie, sneakily managed to get in touch with her mom, Athena. She knew it was likely that they would both be punished, unless she made a plea bargain. Sneakily, Callie agreed to take punishment for Hayden, on the condition that he be taken to Camp Half-Blood, and that his memory be completely wiped. As a son of Hypnos, it was impossible to use the waters of the Lethe, so Athena convinced Mnemosyne to alter his memories, so that he completely forgot about Callie. In his memories, he thought that Hermes had smuggled him down back down towards Camp-Half Blood. He was immediately claimed by Hypnos on arrival, and has been in camp for a couple of days.