Patty sat in the front of the class every day.  She was generally surrounded by empty desks, as no one would sit near her.  She didn’t understand what made everyone so unsettled about her.  She looked good, stunning even, but the boys ran away whenever she approached.  Sure she was smart, but so were a lot of other girls who had many friends.

It didn’t really matter what they thought anyway but in a vague way it bothered her that she should be shunned so completely.  She supposed it had to do with a few incidents when she was younger.  Once she had accidentally knocked a boy over when he tried to hit her and he had to go have stitches.  Another time she was angry at a girl for cutting on the slide and it became red hot and burned her.

She had learned to control herself since then.  She tossed her black hair, auburn highlights shining in the light, over her shoulder gracefully.  She was fully aware of all the eyes upon her.  They may be scared of her, but that didn’t stop them from staring.  It was just as well, her mother expected her to remain caste at least until adulthood.

While she listened to the droning teacher with a part of her mind, another focused on practicing her Greek in her notebook, translating the teacher’s words as he spoke.  She easily completed all tasks, they were so simplistic.

The bell rang and it was time to leave.  She noted one boy trying to trail her inconspicuously.  She thought about losing him and decided she was curious as to what he wanted, so she made her pathway to her locker obvious and stayed where he could see her at all times.  

She was unsure of her choice when the boy got close.  He had a shaved head and tribal earrings.  His clothes were all denim, vest and jeans, no undershirt.  He didn’t seem to be 18 but he had a snake tattooed around his neck.  He radiated malice that practically glowed red around him.  “You think you’re so damn special, don’t you?  Everything goes your way, miss perfect.  Well I know one thing I can teach you,”  he forked his fingers around his mouth and waggled his tongue at her.  

She was stunned at the audacity.  She had made it clear she sought no male companionship, and this boy was pushing beyond decorum.  She had her dignity to maintain, and maintain it she would.  “I warn you not to approach.  I will not be treated in such a manner.  I demand respect from those around me.  Leave me be, or you will not like the results.”

Patty turned away to put her books away and she heard him growl and he grabbed her arm.  She didn’t turn or flinch, just a touch of thought and he rebounded away into the far lockers.  She turned to face him, standing tall and unflinching over his prone form.  She glowed a pale blue, flickering like a tv in the dark.

The boy stood, glowing red.  “You’re so tough, I’m scared.” he stood leaning on one leg, arms crossed.  “You a demigod too?  My father was Ares, and one day I will fight endless battles in his name.” he smirked “You must be from some weak god somewhere.  I’ll be taking you as my prize,” he reached out to grab her.

She sighed and slid her phone out of her pocket, and held it forward like a talisman.  A blue glow flowed over the boy and he screamed as he was broken into a thousand zeroes and ones.  “Just so you know, I’m not a demigod, I’m a goddess.  Patridicia, goddess of computers and technology.  I will be the 10th muse soon.”

A digital whine came from the collection of bits.  “Since you are so into war,  I shall insert you into a wargame, a fairly obscure one, as a lootbox prize, since you are such a big strong demigod warrior you will be OP and extremely rare.  Use of you will be considered cheap and cheating and all the talented will hate you, and the weak will love you.  Have fun.”  The bits swirled into her phone and he was gone.

The hallway was dead silent.  She realized she had revealed her identity to the whole school.  There would be consequences to that, she decided.  Putting her things away she walked outside where a woman in a flowing white dress awaited her.  A bow and arrow slung on her back seemed to go unnoticed.  Her brow had dropped and her mouth was in a tight frown.

“Ares is going to be so angry about this.  He has so few children compared to the others,” she sighed “I suppose you could start one of those tech thingies.  It’s not his favorite but it’s still fighting,” the woman shook her head.

“It’s called a flame war” she sighed “I know you are chaste and prefer it that way, but part of what I am is sex.  I know you molded me from a pile of computer parts and the breath of life, but I don’t live the same way as you.”

“Give it some time,” Artemis said, “You don’t want to turn into your grandfather.”


Patty just shook her head as they began walking away.

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