In The Shadow Of His Nemesis
Chapter Eighty Two
By AL BRUNO III
Saturday, December 4th 1996
Jason Magwier was going mad, he paced in tight circles and with each step he kicked tarot cards in the air. Every few seconds he glared at Roxanne, “What have you done? What have you done?”
The sound of wood tearing was so very close, somewhere glass shattered and somewhere further than that there was gunfire. The Monarchs had come at long last. Earth’s last war had landed on their doorstep and here she was hogtied at the feet of a man known as incompetent and insane in equal measures.
“What have you done? What have you done?” It was almost a chant now. Something crashed nearby, the bureau mirror shook against its frame. Magwier turned to stare at his reflection, he touched his own face, “What have we done?”
Roxanne screamed when he leapt at her thinking that this was the end but he was untying her and blurting incoherent apologies. It was all about the Hierophant and the Nexus of Probabilities.
“I’ll save you,” Magwier helped her to her feet, “I can still correct this. You see I was right to send Zeth away-”
Before he could say anything else Roxanne kneed him in the balls. His breath went out with a -WUFFFF!- sound and he dropped to his knees.
“What have I done?” she screamed. Then she stepped behind him, “What have you done?”
“That’s what I said,” his voice was a croak, “are you wearing kneepads or something?”
Roxanne grabbed one of the ropes Magwier had used to tie her and wrapped it around his throat. She stood yanking him off his feet. His neck made a popping sound in protest. He grabbed at the rope, still trying to talk.
This was the end of Laurel House, in her heart Roxanne had always known this moment would come. There was nothing to do now but find Jack. They would go someplace else, they could make a life together. At this point in her life a simple existence was the only kind she hadn’t known. She was eager for it.
But first she would finish strangling Jason Magwier, the so-called Hanged Man. That was an irony she could savor for years.
The door fell open and a man in a long dark coat stood there, his features beautiful, his mouth a grim line. By the time Roxanne noticed the gun in his hand he had fired and she was dead.
Roxanne Lunt fell backwards with a crash. The expression on the man in the doorway’s face didn’t change, all his attention was on Jason Magwier.
“Persuasion...” Magwier coughed, “what a surprise. I guess you could say I’m all choked up.”
“Even now you joke,” Mr. Sauno holstered his pistol and approached, “even now at the end.”
“I suppose you have orders to kill me,” Magwier sulked.
“Oh no,” Mr. Sauno put his arm around his shoulder, “not when you have so much to teach us.”
“You won’t get anything from me... well maybe my recipe for Chili Con Carne.”
Mr. Sauno, led him out of the room, from the tone of his voice he might be speaking to an old friend, “We’ll pick you apart cell by cell, dream by dream. Oh and before I forget...”
And with a single kick he shattered Magwier’s right knee.