In The Shadow Of His Nemesis
Chapter Fifty Nine
BY AL BRUNO III
Thursday November 27th 1996
Zeth and Jason Magwier were sitting on the floor of the larder, sharing a bottle of wine and a tin of meat. It was pitch dark but neither of them had bothered to bring a candle, when the tin of meat was empty Magwier cleared his throat, “Well here’s another fine mess I’ve gotten us into.”
“You could have handled this better that’s for damn sure,” Zeth said. He stared into the darkness and tried to picture his pistol and cleaning kit. In his mind’s eye he moved step by step by step through dissembling his Glock and laying the parts out side by side, “You piss off Bodivar, you invade someone’s dreams-”
“It was only Angie.” Magwier said dismissively.
“Then why do it?”
“I needed to make sure she wasn’t compromised,” Magwier took mouthful of wine from the bottle and reached up to the shelf behind him for another tine, “oh look Zeth they have Vienna Sausages.”
The parts of the weapon were perfectly realized in his mind’s eye. Zeth imagined the texture of the metal and the smell of the gun oil. In the outside world he had maintained his guns with an almost religious zeal; he had cared for them and they had protected him. “Galen isn’t going to come around to our way of thinking. You have to know that by now.”
Magwier fiddled noisily with the Vienna Sausage container, “There’s still time.”
Once Zeth’s dream of a pistol was cleaned and reassembled he imagined his rifle, “If there’s a traitor here in the house...”
“There is... I’m sure of it.”
“Then you have to realize this is the calm before the storm.”
Magwier laughed with his mouth full, “The cliche before the conflagration? Besides, I know who the traitor is now. It’s Roxanne, it has to be.”
“Her?” surprise erased the imaginary arsenal from his mind. Zeth had been sure it was Jack, he had already been working out ways to kill him- from a distance of course.
“Yes her. Of course her, she’s part of Lunt family and she’s an Oracle, that's a dangerous combination. She probably sold Galen out the moment he got here.” There was an edge to Magwier's voice as though he was thinking or tasting something unpleasant.
Maybe the sausages? Zeth wondered but he knew that was impossible, all the culinary delights of Laurel House were fresh just as every corner was dust free and any book you might need was available on one shelf or another.
“What are we going to do about her?” Zeth asked, “She won’t die easy and she probably already knows we’re on to her.”
“What do we do?” Magwier tossed the empty tin aside and emptied the wine bottle. He threw that as well and was rewarded with a dull crash, “What should we do? What will we do? We wait.”
“So much waiting. A dozen lifetimes of waiting. Will it be worth it?”
“Jason,” Zeth reached for his friend but he had wandered off, “you're losing focus.”
“You're damn well right I am,” Magwier started pulling things off the shelves; preserves and condiments hit the floor.
“When do we stop waiting?”
“Just a few days now and then you'll be taking a trip.”
“A trip?” Zeth let his friend haul him to his feet and bustle him to the exit.
“Yes, I don’t want you here when the end comes for Laurel House,” his voice was a stage whisper, the whisper of someone that wants to be heard.
“Laurel House is going to fall?” Zeth asked.
“Going to fall?” Jason Magwier pushed the door wide open, letting a rectangle of pale light wash over the larder's full shelves and clean floors, “Laurel House is already falling, and very soon it will shatter.”