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C2IP: The Agenda War VIII

Mags, the smoke thick in the night, steps over Mode's corpse, the blood leaking from his gut reflecting the firelight, the flames thick in the night. She has the sudden thought that she's somehow killed this man before.

The citizens of Omega Canyon are screaming.

After shooting their way out of The Emperor, Dex ran for the schoolhouse, Wraith for the Star office, Cal for the old Hanged Man. They knew already, in their bones, that they were all already burning. People still needed protecting though.

Mags shoots another man who is about to shoot her. She's trying to size things up, make a count of things. Who started the shooting?

She can see, in the distance, the smoke parting like a curtain in the hot wind conjured up by the fire, that Que's manor is burning too. Glancing back, through more gunfire and screams, she sees that The Emperor is on fire.

War's come to Omega.

And then a figure in the midst of it, standing opposite Mags. She realizes that she's wandered into the main street, where Sugarcube and Logollos had drawn on each other. Do some things have beginnings?

Their hat is pulled low, a bandana pulled up high, face covered, thick duster and smoke and firelight making it hard to measure size, posture.

"You see what's happenin', Maggie?" they shout. Something about the voice. A knowing in it.

She thinks for a moment that it's Darius. Then she wonders if it's him, if Sugarcube's come back. She knows that she should know, that she should be able to tell, feels embarrassed that she can't. Truth is that things have never been quite right since the journey to the Horsebreeder's ranch.

"Tell me what's happenin', stranger!" Mags shouts back.