|Ted has always been an odd child. Adults don’t feel comfortable around him. It’s because apart from his dyslexia and Attention Deficit and Hyperactive Disorder, Ted also somehow always knew when somebody’s not telling the truth or not acting truthfully.|
For instance, when Ted was in kindergarten, his teacher was going through a bad divorce and she was in an emotional wreck because of it. As a teacher she tried not to show it to her students, but somehow she felt that Ted knew about her true emotional state. And at the end of the day, when it came time for the children to go home, Ted whispered to her “Hang in there Mrs. Dawson, you’ll overcome all you problems.”
Getting that kind of pep-talk from an adult was already enough to make things uncomfortable if it came from someone that you didn't really know. But getting it from a small child, who wasn’t suppose to even understand about emotional stress yet, was really disconcerting. Most adults don’t like being treated that way by little children, and yet Ted continued doing it to adults around him until he reached the age when he can distinguish between things that are proper to do or not.
Yes, Ted somehow always knew when somebody was lying or trying to cover something up. He doesn’t exactly know what that person was hiding or what they were lying about, or even how he knew about it, but lies or untruthfulness seems to always triggered a warning in Ted’s guts.
When Ted was 8 years old, his dad unfortunately died in an accident and that forced Ted to live with his aunt.
From his aunt he learned that no one, except Ted’s dad, knew about who Ted’s mother was. All that his aunt knew was, when Ted’s dad - Elliott - came back from back-packing around Europe when he took a break for a whole year from law school, he brought baby Ted home with him. When his family pestered him about who the mother was, Elliott only answered “A woman I met at The Hague”. Apart from that, Elliott never mentioned anything else about Ted’s mother.
Fortunately for Ted, his aunt was a nice and kind woman. She lost her husband from cancer a year before Ted moved in with her in Michigan, and she enjoyed Ted’s company since she didn’t have children of her own.
Ted’s aunt had a minimarket in Michigan, and Ted helped her taking care of that minimarket. He enjoyed it greatly, since taking care a minimarket involves a lot of managing merchandises and stacking them in neat stacks. Ted always loves stacking things, or putting things in order. So much so that his aunt sometimes lovingly referred to him as “my little obsessive compulsive freak of a nephew”.
And so Ted lived peacefully with his aunt for ten years until he was eighteen years old.
One day Ted became acquainted with a boy who sometimes walked through the alley behind Ted’s aunt’s minimarket. The boy introduced himself as Hoover, and they became quite a friend after a while.
After knowing Hoover for a month or so, suddenly Hoover said that he needed to tell Ted about who Ted really was.
To be honest, Ted was a bit weirded out. Here’s a boy whom he knew for only about a month, and now he said that he knows something about Ted that even Ted himself didn’t know anything about. Who wouldn’t be weirded out in that kind of situation?
Ted’s guts always knew that Hoover was hiding something, but every person must have something they didn’t want to share with anybody else, and Ted felt that Hoover had been hiding something from Ted from the very beginning. But Ted’s guts didn’t give any extra warning this time, so Ted decided to hear out what Hoover wanted to say.
Hoover started by telling Ted that Ted was a demigod, and that Hoover himself was a Satyr and proved it by showing Ted his goat feet. And then he continued telling Ted about Camp Half-Blood, and how it would be better if Ted started going to that camp since he was already 18 years old, an age where most demigods usually got attacked frequently by monsters.
Ted knew that Hoover didn’t lie, his guts told him so, and Ted has an absolute trust to his guts when it comes to distinguishing between truth and lies. But even being put face to face with the truth was still too overwhelming for Ted to accept a story that was that spectacular.
Finally, even knowing that Hoover was telling the truth, Ted decided to refuse Hoover’s invitation. Ted enjoyed living with his aunt, and he didn’t want to change that.
Hoover seemed weary about Ted’s decision, but he didn’t push Ted any further.
That night, when Ted was cleaning the back of the minimarket, he heard a ruckus at the cashier.
Working for ten years in a minimarket gave Ted a lot of experience with robberies, and Ted thought that at worst, this ruckus was just another robbery attempt.
Ted slowly made his way to the back office to call the police for help, when he suddenly heard a gravelly and deep voice asked, “Where’s the demigod?”
Ted’s feet froze when he heard that question. Was that man asking about Ted when he asked about a demigod?
He heard his aunt answered that she didn’t know anything about a demigod.
The person with the gravelly voice growled, and Ted heard his aunt screamed. A scream that abruptly stopped.
Worried about his aunt, Ted decided to postpone calling the police and slowly made his way to the front of the minimarket.
Ted felt his blood was drained out of his body and replaced by a freezing liquid hidrogen when he saw his aunt dead behind the counter with a large gaping wound in the middle of her chest.
And then Ted saw the person who killed his aunt. He looked pale and dangerous with greasy hair that looked limp on his head. But then something happened to Ted, it was as if Ted was able to see clearly for the first time in his life. That person was not a person. It doesn’t even look like a person anymore. It was a lion with bat wings and a scorpion tail. Its tail was dripping with blood that Ted knew was his aunt’s blood.
Suddenly the minimarket’s door burst open, and Ted saw Hoover ran in and tackled the monster. The monster fell to it's side but wasn’t really hurt. Hoover then continued to fight the monster using some kind of a big bat made of wood.
Ted was unable to move for a while, his mind tried desperately to make sense of all that was happening in front of him. When Hoover was able to distract the monster's attention to elsewhere for a moment he pulled out a dagger that he concealed inside his shirt. He then threw the dagger toward Ted, and yelled for Ted to pick up the dagger and help Hoover fight the monster before the monster once again focused its attention on pummelling Hoover.
Ted saw that Hoover was quite a good fighter, but Ted knew that Hoover’s chance of winning against a scorpion tailed, bat winged lion was nearly non-existent. When Ted finally able to gather his wits, he slowly took the dagger from the floor and hold it firmly in his hand. The dagger was unlike any dagger Ted had ever seen because it was made from bronze and emanated a brownish glow.
Suddenly some strange feeling slowly overwhelmed Ted. He was angry, and he felt a strong desire to take retribution from the monster for killing his aunt. At that same moment, Ted felt stronger as if his anger was fueling his strength. Logic somehow no longer able to control Ted's desire for retribution and so without thinking he ran toward the monster which was still locked in a fight with Hoover. The monster was late to realize that Ted was running toward it, and so Ted was able to mount the lion’s back. With strength induced by rage, Ted pulled the monster's mane. "This thing killed my aunt, and therefore it must also die," that was what flashed through Ted’s mind at that time.
With it’s head being pulled back, the monster’s neck was exposed. Ted circled his arm around the monster’s neck, and using the dagger he cut the monster’s throat with one swift flowing movement.
The monster’s growls instantly changed into a horrible gargling of blood that flooded its throat.
His rage, and also concentrating on cutting the monster’s throat, made Ted forgot about the monster’s tail. The monster’s scorpiontail. Fortunately, Ted remembered about it at the last moment and he got off of the monster back right when its tail was thrusting toward Ted’s back. Ted was able to avoid being impaled by it, but his left shoulder was grazed by the tip of the tail. Unspeakable pain shot through Ted’s body when the tail's poisonous sharp tip grazed his shoulder, and it was made worse by falling down to the floor. Hoover hurried to Ted’s aid. Ted was about to lose his consciousness when he saw Hoover pulled out a small flask filled with golden liquid from his pant’s pocket.
Hoover quickly poured a few drops of the liquid upon Ted’s wound, and he also forced Ted to drink the rest of the liquid. He said to Ted, “It’s nectar, it’ll make the pain go away.”
The liquid tasted pleasantly strange. It tastes like the ice cream that Ted’s dad used to buy him when he was small, but at the same time it also tastes like his aunt’s special chili. Two clashing tastes, but that time it both worked somehow harmoniously in Ted’s mouth.
The pain gradually subsided, and Ted was finally able to sit up. When he looked to check up on his wound, it was no longer there. More over, Ted saw that the monster he just killed was turning into a pile of golden dust, slowly scattered by a non-existing wind.
Hoover hid the dagger, and then he called the police. A few minutes later the police came. They took away Ted’s aunt’s body, and asked a lot of questions to Ted and Hoover about what happened in that minimarket. Lying was not a strong point for Ted, so he let Hoover did all the talking with the police, while he just sat there acting shocked - which was not so much as an acting than a real expression of his condition at that moment.
After thoroughly convinced that they were just dealing with a robbery gone wrong, the police said that they had to take Ted to the child services until Ted’s next of kin could pick him up. But Ted didn’t have any other family, so he knew that it will only up to the orphanage to take him in.
Ted asked the policemen to let him stay one more night at his aunt’s house to clean things up, and prepare some things for him to take while he was under the child services custody. The policemen hesitated but finally gave in with a condition that Ted will be ready to be taken by the child services early in the morning.
The policemen then dropped Ted and Hoover off at Ted’s aunt’s house.
After the policemen left, Ted and Hoover quickly prepared some food for their journey, and Ted also took all the cash he had. Before they left, Hoover gave the dagger back to Ted. He said the dagger would be a lot more useful in Ted's hands, since satyrs like Hoover don't use sharp weapons like a dagger. He only brought the dagger to give to the demigods he might find anyway. Ted and Hoover finally left in the cover of the night, and started a journey toward Camp Half-Blood.
The journey from Michigan to New York was a long and hard journey, but Ted already made up his mind. With his aunt dead, Ted no longer had anything to prevent him from joining Camp Half-Blood. His old life was already gone with his aunt’s death, and now he’s in a process of looking for a new life.
They both got attacked a few times by various monsters but they managed to hide or ran away from them. They had to travel through woods and other uninhabited places to avoid being seen by the police, but those kind of routes made it easier for the monsters to detect Ted’s scent. Once or twice Ted wanted to take the monster head on, but Hoover put some sense into Ted’s head. Ted knew nothing about fighting monsters. Ted’s success in killing the scorpion tailed lion - which Hoover called a Manticore - could just be a very good beginner’s luck for all they know. Hoover made Ted promise not to deliberately attack any monster until they reached Camp Half Blood. At least they were never short on food, since Hoover was adept at finding food in the wild, although all of them are vegetables and fruits.
After some long months journeying together through the wilderness, Ted and Hoover finally reached the pine tree on top of half-blood hill. It was already dark when they reached the pine tree. They were both tired, battered, and worse for wear, but at least they’re both alive.
Stepping his foot across the camp’s boundaries, Ted saw a bright light hovering over his head. He can’t really see what was creating the light, but then he looked at Hoover and the satyr smiled and said, “So, you’re the son of Themis.”
After escorting Ted to the camp's big house, Hoover bid his farewell to Ted. He said he wanted to meet his satyr family and friends before departing again on another journey to look for other demigods out in the world. Ted was sad for having to say goodbye to Hoover, but he knew that it was Hoover's job to look for demigods, so Ted gave Hoover a tight hug before he went into the big house alone. At least Ted felt glad that he got to find out about his mother.