At least Anansi didn’t seem to have managed to capture another death god. I kept my eyes open for any kind of weirdness, though.
Mike was talking to spider collectors. Once more I felt helpless, waiting until there was something I could punch.
Sometimes I thought I wasn’t the important one at all. Everyone else around me was achieving more. Doing more. Kanesha was the smart one, Mike knew everyone, Monica…
I shook my head. I was just being stupid. Or maybe that was how it was supposed to work. Maybe gods were supposed to…bring out the best in mortals rather than doing things themselves.
That felt right. But it didn’t mean it wasn’t frustrating to feel like I had so little real agency.
So? I went out looking for something I actually could do. Mostly, I was keeping my eyes open. Then an idea hit me.
I changed course and hopped on a bus, heading for a certain brothel run by a priestess of Aphrodite. Zaid had warned the Egyptian gods, but none of us were in particularly close contact with the Greek ones.
They needed to know what Anansi was running around with, and she was the only person I knew with a direct line. It being daytime, the building was pretty quiet, but not closed.
I wondered how many people wandered in at this time of day looking for stuff other than sex. Probably quite a few.
“You’re…oh, wait, I remember you,” the receptionist said.
“I need to talk to the priestess.”
“Lost any more friends?” she quipped.
“No. I…need her to get a message to her boss for me.”
She frowned, and then opened the door. “She’s in her office.”
I knew the way. But when I stepped in, she looked…tired. “You look exhausted.”
As she didn’t volunteer anything, I elected to assume it was just business and its normal stresses. Probably made double by the illegal nature of what she was doing. “I need to warn you.”
“The spider Anansi is wandering around with an artifact that allows him to steal other people’s power.”
She frowned. “Alright.”
“He was responsible for the ghost plague. We rescued his prisoner, but he still has the artifact.”
“Great. I’ll warn my mistress.”
“Thanks. I mean, they probably already noticed, but just to be sure…” A pause. “Are you alright?”
She’d got up, and she was moving like a much older woman. It was a stupid question, really.