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‘Wow,’ the reaper said privately. ‘That went even better than planned!’
‘I know, right?! I thought for sure we’d have to let him escape!’
‘Dang. When was the last time ANYTHING went better than planned?’
‘Hmm, not sure. Lac’Vayce went really well... until everyone died.’
‘Yeah, but that one wasn’t even our plan,’ said Overra.
‘I know, but I still feel kinda responsible.’
‘Mm. But anyway! How about that triple emergence from Zeff, eh?! I know he hates us, but I’m so proud of him!’
‘Oh, I know! I really didn’t think he had it in him! Frankly, I was happy with just the double. I only kept pushing him ‘cuz we had so much extra time on our hands, and then he went and did THAT. Just--agh! Beautiful.’
‘And he was even smart enough to flee instead of trying to fight us! That was one of my biggest concerns!’
‘Oh yeah! It would’ve been so annoying if he’d just decided to throw his life away!’
Overra laughed. ‘Ah, Zeff, you darling boy. Now I feel kinda bad for all those mean things we said to him.’
‘Yeah. But nobody ever got stronger by listening to comforting lies.’
They arrived at the crumbling bridge that the Rainlords had been using to escape. Parson had been taking Zeff away from Rheinhal, rather than toward it. It would have been annoying if Sanko interrupted them, after all. Now that the bridge was out, however, he had to briefly merge with Overra again in order to fly over it. They resumed walking afterwards, knowing that they would tire themselves out if they used pan-rozum for too much longer. Parson stuffed his hands in the pockets of his ragged white overcoat and began whistling the tune to Turkey in the Straw.
‘By the way,’ he said, ‘why did we decide to kill Socorro? I can’t remember.’ Now that he wasn’t sharing his mind with Overra, all knowledge that had been acquired during the hyper state had been split between the two of them.
‘Oh, that was mainly to rile Zeff and Angie up--but also, because platinum materialization is way too risky to leave unattended. That woman could’ve crashed the Continental Market by herself if she’d wanted to.’
‘Ah, right. Good call.’
‘With everything else going on right now, we really didn’t need that as an extra variable. And with their backs to the corner, who knows what the Rainlords would’ve done?’