“And you forgot how to knock over the centuries?” The great mirror-polished wyvern glared at Spa worker. Their uniforms hadn’t changed much over the centuries. He wore the same white shorts and white polo shirt with red trim Chroma saw when she began her hibernation. But, it seemed the service took a noticeable dive. Chroma requested a wakeup call after about a millennia. Instead, she woke to find a man sneaking into her room unannounced.
“I know why you’re here,” she added. “I’m the one that paid for the service,” she grumbled.
“Yes, Ms. Chroma,” The nervous bellboy nodded. Then, he stood patiently, unsure of what to do next. He did not need to wait long.
“Just, Chroma,” the dragon said. Her voice only carried a minor exasperation. The bellboy nodded again, eager to please her. Chroma was one of the Spa’s original founders. Ever since Greg started his job, respect and awe for Chroma was drilled into him every day. He stood at attention waiting to fulfill her every wish. She stared at him for several quiet seconds, then sighed.
Her long, elegant neck swung gracefully around the room until her face hovered a foot in front of him. Greg could see his three-day-old stubble and slightly mussed hair reflected back in each of the mirror-like scales on her face.
“Well?” She asked.
“Uh.. Well what, Ms. Chr- I mean Chroma, ma’am?” Greg stumbled over his words. He was surprised and relieved when he noticed her give an amused eyeroll.
“I need some privacy to slip into something more comfortable; if you don’t mind,”
“Oh! Sorry!” Greg spun around, then shut his eyes for good measure.
“Catch me up,” Chroma said from behind Greg.
“Your aunt continues to maintain her restaurant, Donna Chang’s. She has repaid your investment in full, with six centuries of interest.” Greg said. “Sharp Development expanded into the afterlife before failing. Dana Sharp is dead. After the company dissolved you received 30% of the sale as well as shares of Heaven and Hell. Ruby has taken over as director of the Spa in your absence. Greg bowed his head even though he faced the opposite way.
“And she’s so busy that she couldn’t come and visit her mother?” Chroma said with a playful pout in her voice.
“She’s busy…,” Greg swallowed. He worked hard to earn the right to be the one to brief Chroma. Once he earned the right, things went downhill pretty quickly. He was supposed to have nothing but good news for her, but, the universe had other plans. “The Conquistadors are free,” Greg said. He felt a small hand grab his shoulder and spin him around. He opened his eyes to see a pale woman with chrome hair and platinum eyes staring at him. She was not entirely finished dressing yet. Greg caught sight of a silver sun tattooed just under her collar bone; a red number 46 decorated the center of the sun.
“All of them?” she asked. Greg nodded.
“All of them,” he repeated. “But, Sharp Development managed to get one. La Calavera. Unfortunately, we don’t know anything about where it was kept before the company was dissolved.”
“Really?” Chroma pulled back in surprise. Then, she smiled when Greg nodded his affirmation. “Well, that’s different.” The cavern around her seemed to relax completely; Greg felt as if a great weight was lifted off his soul. The positive feeling was so sudden and intense that it bubbled up and escaped through his mouth as a light chuckle.
“Is that good? Even if we don’t know where it is?” he asked. Chroma nodded.
“Different is very good,” Chroma said. She walked past Greg toward the cavern exit with purpose. Greg smiled to himself. He felt like he did a good job; but, then a stray thought formed in the back of his head. He expected Chroma to be eccentric, but as he watched her stride away with confidence he realized he didn’t know why she was so excited.
“Different from what!?” he called out after her. She didn’t stop to answer.