CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SEVENTY-FIVE
Thursday morning — 10:17 a.m.
Denver Crime Labs
“To what do I owe this pleasure?” Nelson asked.
Nelson was sitting at his desk outside Ava O’Malley’s office and next to the lab. He didn’t turn around or look up. He knew that someone from the “old world” had appeared. He just wanted to finish what he was working on.
When he looked up, he saw Hedone, Ares, and Athena had appeared.
“We need to get this quest underway,” Ares said.
Nelson raised an eyebrow at him.
“See I told you that he wouldn’t listen to me,” Ares said. “He has no respect.”
Hedone and Athena laughed so hard that Ares grinned. With their laughter, Ava got up from her desk and opened her office door.
“May I help you?” Ava asked.
“We’re here for him,” Athena said.
“That’s nice,” Ava said. “This is a secure building. How did you get in?”
“They’re immortal Gods,” Nelson said.
“Sure they are,” Ava said. “Are they bothering you?”
“Outside of being incredibly annoying?” Nelson asked. “No.”
Dr. Leslie McClintock came out of the lab. She looked from Hedone to Ares to Athena and blinked.
“You know who we are,” Athena said, evenly.
“I’m not sure if I should bow or . . .?” Leslie asked.
“You’re fine,” Nelson said. “They just came to annoy me.”
“Lucky you,” Leslie said. “May I . . . Uh . . . Would you mind if I asked you some questions?”
Ares stepped forward eagerly.
“Oh sorry, I meant Athena,” Leslie asked. “I . . . well really, we need some wisdom.”
Leslie pointed toward Ava’s office. She, Athena, and Ava went into her office. After a few minutes, they heard laughing and talking coming from Ava’s office.
“What’s happened between when we talked about this situation this morning?” Nelson asked.
“We can’t wait anymore,” Ares said.
“I’m sorry,” Hedone said. “I know that you were just settling in to your life again.”
“What about the French?” Nelson asked. “They were going to fund the entire thing. They . . .”
“We put a bug in their ear about another expedition,” Ares said. “You would be amazed at how persuasive I can be.”
Nelson gave him a skeptical look.
“I dressed in a modern suit, shook hands, and all of that,” Ares said, proudly. “You would have been proud of me. I looked like a modern man.”
“And?” Nelson asked.
“They should be calling you in a few minutes,” Ares said.
Nelson looked up at the ceiling and whispered an angry, “Fuck.”
“If you’re offering . . .” Ares said.
Nelson shook his head, and Ares laughed.
“Come on, young lad,” Ares said. “We’ll have a great time.”
“I . . .” Nelson started. “I need to talk to Blane and my family again. Tanesha and Jeraine are adopting three more kids and. . .”
“They’ll be okay,” Hedone said. “We’ve expected that you’d be leaving soon. It’s actually been longer than we expected.”
Nelson gave Hedone a vague nod.
“It won’t be like the last time,” Hedone said.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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