It was agreed between the two of them that Jars would be Nikki’s guest for the evening. Now that she clearly understood the terrifying implications of what came to pass each morning at seven Nikki insisted, against Jars’ strong objection, that he scuttle any idea of an overnight stay in a hotel room. “Not on your life,” she’d declared, before realizing her choice of words, tears welling up and threatening to flow once more. Jars had reacted quickly, tossing off the faux pas and suggesting that, while the situation was on the bad side of serious, allowing themselves leeway for levity could only help. They had a lot of work to do in a short amount of time. Fear only got in the way, draining a person’s energy and messing with their concentration. In the end Jars had relented, in part because Nikki had said she’d needed until morning to decide about joining him in his pursuit of a cure for cancer. He wanted to seize the opportunity to convince her to go back to Synapzius with him where, on the wall of every lab in the facility was Jars’ favorite Einstein quote: If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. The saying had been a constant source of inspiration, to both Jars and the various research teams he led. And if the idea that he could somehow come up with a cure for Nikki’s cancer before a nano-bullet shot him in the heart wasn’t absurd, nothing was.
Having earlier emptied her refrigerator before heading to Cooperstown for what she had thought would be a two week vacation, Nikki suggested they swing by a grocery store on the way home. Although her stomach was in knots she thought food would do them both good. Even if they passed on dinner they’d need a few things for breakfast. Jars had countered with the idea of grabbing some Mexican, another favorite of Sten’s that was on Jars’ bucket list of exploratory cuisine. Nikki’s questioning look had necessitated his filling her in on Stan’s dual status as both attorney and best friend. As far as breakfast went, Jars promised they would dine on power oatmeal as they flew to Synapzius.
Nikki had feigned disbelief. “You want me to go with you badly enough to trade your Eggs Benedict for my power oatmeal? You’re pulling my leg!”
“Cross my heart,” Jars had said with a mischievous grin and a swish of his finger across his chest.