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The Jigsaw Jig
Max closed the door to the warehouse. The night air was cold, refreshing after the smells of gunpowder and blood, incense and woodsmoke. 

Donnelly rubbed his arms. “I really didn't think it would work... They're all dead."

Max slipped fresh clips into his pistols, offered Joy back to the reverend. “It doesn't always.” 

The Father looked shocked at the admission and confused at the offer. “You mean it might not have? I won't need that anymore, since-”

Max put the gun in the man's hand, went about lighting a cigarette. “That was only a cell, like I told you. And the ritual... Well, not even a god's plan always works out.” 

Donnelly nodded, glanced at the weapon he was holding. “I guess mine's didn't.” He slipped the gun into his coat pocket.

Max nudged him to start walking. “So, we switch from fugitive-warrior mode to crafty-detective. Who ratted to LEGACY?” 

“And why did they come after me? You said they could have taken all of us out anytime they wanted.”

Max stopped at the corner and looked up and down the city street. Normal evening traffic. He spotted a coffee shop and started walking again. “They followed me there.” 

“And why were you there?” Donnelly asked.

Max's eyes flickered from shadows to pedestrians to cars to shop windows. “I wanted to talk to you, about the sermons you deliver at the Rave. About the group you're gathering.” 

“It's a church. Or that's how I see it. But not a stale and static institution, like so many have become. A real living community of people who are lost, who need each other.”

Max nodded, thoughtful. He held open the door to the coffee shop. They found a table, the waitress brought coffee over. It was another type of ritual, one Max had used throughout plureality. 

“And it's Alice who sends most of the people to the Rave?” Max continued once they were settled and warming up. The reverend looked exhausted; they had been on the run a long time. 

“It's not always the Rave; that's the location we've used for the past few shifts. It was Mayganne and Johannesberg's turn to design one. But yes, Mother finds most of the lost folk.” 

Max sipped his coffee. He imagined what it would have been like, to be found by someone like her, like Father Donnelly and the rest, found sooner. Before so many bad things had happened. But the bad things were still happening... 

“Father,” Max said. “There's a problem. You wondered why LEGACY hadn't moved on you or your friends earlier... The only reason could be that somehow your church is helping their agenda.” 

Donnelly's cup rattled in the saucer. “That's absurd! Are you implying that-”

Max raised his hand calmly. “I'm just saying that maybe it's time we talked to Mother.”