Chapter Six Hundred and Seventy-five - It's time (part one)
Chapter Six Hundred and Seventy-five - It's time (part three)

Chapter Six Hundred and Seventy-five - It's time (part two)

CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SEVENTY-FIVE

(part two)

“It won’t be like the last time,” Hedone said. “We are more prepared, ready for anything. You have the support of the Titans and us, of course. You’ll have your same travel team.”

“Alex, too?” Nelson asked.

“I think you’d literally have to kill her not to have her come,” Hedone said with a smile.

“You’ve told her?” Nelson asked. “She’s really busy in the middle of everything all the time.”

“We just left her,” Ares said. “She said she needed an hour or so but she’s ready to go. Max is coming this time too.”

Nelson nodded.

“Fuck,” Nelson said again in a more resigned way. “There’s no way to avoid this. I was hoping. . .”

Hedone shook her head.

“You will need to take Katy and Paddie with you,” Hedone said.

“The children?” Nelson asked. “Why?”

“You need their swords to raise the hoard,” Ares said.

Nelson nodded.

“They need to be with you for their own protection,” Hedone said.

“I can’t find a hoard and protect the children at the same time!” Nelson said.

“The gorgon have agreed to protect the children,” Hedone said.

The laughter in Ava’s office increased and they all looked over to see Leslie, Ava, and Athena laughing.

“You made some agreement with the gorgon?” Hedone asked.

“Medusa’s head is in the hoard,” Nelson said. “She is still alive. Her head is alive under the water. She . . .”

Nelson shivered.

“Just horrible,” Nelson said.

“What did you agree to son?” Ares asked.

“I agreed to give them the head,” Nelson said. “They agreed to support me. I thought that Hedone had put them up to it.”

Hedone shook her head.

“They knew all about me and the hoard,” Nelson said. He shrugged. “They actually were lovely. Truthful. Helpful. Did you know that there are many of them? They only appear in threes.”

“Really?” Ares asked.

Hedone nodded.

“They are women scorned, abused, or used as sex slaves or oracle slaves from our time,” Hedone said. “Their unexpressed rage and anger at their abuse turns them into gorgon.”

“They are?” Ares asked.

“How is it that you don’t know this?” Hedone asked. “Zeus created most of them with his rapey misogyny. Where do you think the Sea of Amber came from?”

“From the gorgon?” Ares asked. “I never thought of it.”

“They have powerful magic,” Hedone said. “They are unmovable, powerful, and incorruptible. They’ve been behind every effort to create a safer world for the vulnerable. They live in the shadows because of their abuse.”

“How do you know so much about them?” Ares asked.

“My friend Tanesha had to do a report on them when she was in college,” Hedone said. “I went to find out what I could and met them. I was . . . in awe, really. They are incredible. Truly incredible women, very powerful, and absolutely beloved to the mother. As, Nelson is beloved to the mother.”

Scowling, Ares nodded.

“How much time do I have?” Nelson asked.

“Not much,” Hedone said. “Katy and Paddie were so freaked out that Jill kept them home today.”

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...

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