In The Shadow Of His Nemesis
Chapter Ninety Three
By AL BRUNO III
Saturday, December 4th 1996
Zeth moved fast through the trees but his feet barely disturbed the snow, one of the many tricks he’d picked up thanks to his lifetime of devotion to the saints of gunpowder and the firing pin. His sniper rifle was slung over one shoulder and his revolver was in his right hand. The sound of the helicopter was growing closer.
Damn you Hanged Man! He thought, Damn you.
He and Jason Magwier had shared many names and adventures over the years but Zeth always found himself cursing the man. Jason Magwier was obtuse and clever, oblivious and inscrutable, and he was forever getting himself, and his allies, into danger.
The trees began to thin out and Zeth took cover, wet snow slipped everywhere, into his pant legs, under his coat and even into his shirt collar. He ignored the cold, at moments like this it didn’t matter if he was in the blazing heat or in the midst of a blizzard. All that mattered was what he found when he stared down his sights. He unslung his rifle and looked down the scope. The first thing he found was the remains of a donnrup. From the look of things it had crashed into the ground after being mortally wounded.
Was that Magwier’s work? A sign that he was still alive? Zeth adjusted his focus and looked beyond the insectile body towards Laurel House.
But Laurel House was gone, in its place was a pitiful ruin of burning wreckage. The Monarchs’ surviving drones and donnrup were waiting nearby.
And then his scope found them; Galen was sullen and chained, Jason Magwier was a bloodied mess. They’d been torturing him from the looks of it, a nice saveage beating to take out their frustrations and to make the man stop jabbering away.
Next Zeth found Mr. Sauno. He was talking to a diminutive woman with features like a porcelain doll and expressions like a mannequin.
What’s this? Zeth wondered, Someone new by the looks of it. Hasn’t gotten quite used to the interface yet.
Zeth turned his attention back to Mr. Sauno. About a year ago he’d had the man in his sights but he’d gotten away in the chaos that Tristam Bloom had brought raining down. There was a temptation to take a shot to try and put an end to him but Zeth knew that after he opened fire he’d only have seconds to get to safety.
It would be like throwing rocks at a beehive. No, it was worse, at least bees belonged in this world.
Somewhere a few miles away Moon-Eye the Clanslayer was summoning a Dread Lord. Moon-Eye herself! What had brought this monster among monsters to Laurel House? And what had driven her to take an ordinary little man as her lover? Boredom Zeth supposed.
Zeth wondered why he and Magwier hadn’t suspected who she was.
Or had Magwier known all along and just not bothered to tell?
It wouldn’t be the first time. Hopefully it wouldn’t be the last.
The sound of the helicopter was almost deafening now. It slipped out of the thick clouds and smoke. It hovered uncertainly for a moment.
Zeth drew a bead on the tail rotor. He knew that damaging a craft like this with a single shot was an uncertain thing so he offered a prayer to the saints and fired.