I thought this was the story’s end. That’s what I get for thinking.
PS Of you’ve been good this year, Santa will bring you something later.
Somewhere around what had been Albany, New York, the two vehicles pulled up before something Burns had never imagined.
“It… it’s huge.”
“Yeah, all the girls say that to me,” Hardt said to the laugh of his men as they walked into a permanent legionary fort. “Ten silvers say there are hot rides for us and the new prince here.”
“No bet,” one of his men replied. The rest grunted approval. As they walked through the gate, a tall man with a scruff of a russet beard came toward them, just a few meters – yards! – in.
“General Wright,” Hardt said, his right hand high in the air. He didn’t lower it until the other saluted. General? Her replacement? “I present James Burns, Canadian citizen. And, I hope, the conclusion of my assignment here.”
“Thank you, Centurion. Your special lift back is around area B, section four.” He saluted again. “Best of luck to you. Else, we’ll be seeing each other around Toronto.”
“Thank you, General,” Hardt replied, hand up. He dropped it and turned to Jimmy. With a curious look in his eyes.
“Don’t fuck this up!” was his urgent whisper that no one else could hear. “Kalí is from God! Get that? You stupid fuck!”
He turned about and waved his men to follow him into the twilight.
Confused and once again afraid, Jimmy faced General Wright.
“We’ve much the same for you, Mister Burns,” he said, unhappy about something.
“Which is?” Jimmy tried to keep up.
“Special transport. Our motors. Seems the Regent wants you in, well, never mind the destination, soonest.” He shrugged. “Follow me, now.”
A bewildering twenty minutes later had Jimmy strapped into an even smaller version of the saucer Aurie took him up in. No one told him anything but he suddenly blacked out from the instant acceleration.