CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED-SIX
“Okay, I think we’ve got it,” Alex said.
Bestat held out her hand, and Alex gave her the sheet. She read the page and looked up at Alex.
“Do you think it’s right?” Alex asked.
“Can you speak with my son?” Bestat asked.
Alex touched her ear.
“Teddy?” Alex asked. She looked at Bestat.
“I’m here,” Teddy Jakkman said.
Bestat was Teddy’s father Zack Jakkman’s life partner. Teddy’s mother was no longer in the picture. Bestat had stepped in to mother Zack’s children. Teddy, his brother and sister adored Bestat as much as she loved them.
“We need the maps that you made on your computer,” Bestat said. “Particularly the one in the South of France.”
“Of course,” Teddy said. “Did you bring phones?”
“No,” Alex said. “But Mari’s here.”
Alex turned to Mari, the fairy.
“Can you bring me my work tablet?” Alex said. “It’s hand held and works with the satellite. My assistant, Dusty, should know where it is.”
“I’m here, sir,” U.S. Army Sergeant Alexander Roger Ulysses “Dusty” Cummings III said. “Raz, me, Troy, Margaret — we’re here at O’Malley’s house. The rest of the team are getting ready in case you need us. Except Vince, of course, because of his shoulder. You know, from the mine.”
“He’s here to boss us around,” U.S. Army Captain Andrew “Trece” Ramirez said. “But not to do the work. Of. Course.”
Rather than comment, Alex laughed.
“Thank you, Sergeant,” Alex said.
“Sir,” Sergeant Dusty said.
“The fairy is coming to get my work tablet,” Alex said.
“Won’t she break it with her electricity?” Sergeant Dusty asked.
“Why would I do that?” Mari asked.
Dusty squeaked with surprise at her sudden appearance. Alex heard Mari’s voice over her earbud. Alex looked up and saw that Nelson was following all of this on his earbud. He looked terrified. Alex walked over and grabbed his arm
“Steady on, Knight.”
Not ever sure what that meant, Nelson gave a simple nod.
Mari appeared with Alex’s tablet and a paper bag.
“Maresol said that you should eat,” Mari said with a shrug.
Nelson opened the bag and found two turkey sandwiches, two apples, and some small bags of potato chips. He gave a sandwich to Alex, who set it down. Nelson ate his sandwich in three bites.
“Why is that apple red?” Artemis asked.
Nelson grinned and tossed the apple to her. She grabbed it out of the air, took a bite, and gave a huge smile.
“Delicious,” Artemis said.
“Okay,” Alex said. “Bestat and I made a map of this area last night.”
“What is it?” Nelson asked.
In a breath, he was standing on the rich dark soil of a fertile field. The night was moonless. The dark had the inky quality brought by Nyx. He squinted to make out the building in the dark night.
“This is my mother’s family farm,” Nelson said. “You should know that they are…”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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