52. A Coward's Last Words
“Ace, you need to see this!” Zes yelled, storming toward him. Ace turned and beckoned him closer, waiting until he didn’t have to shout to be heard.
“I am very sorry, Zes, but I do have a few other things to worry about right now.” In fact, he was run ragged, pulled in every direction at once, and exhausted beyond measure. But he wasn’t about to tell anyone that. They looked up to him, needed him to be strong for their sakes as well as his own. Tera’s revelation had, it seemed, not only angered their allies, but unnerved their enemies as well.
“Oh god, another one?” Zes asked, reaching down to draw the Coward dagger from Neuf’s back. Ace glanced sharply at him and he continued. “Bara just fell into my room a few minutes ago. Apparently he’s a Fool.”
“I don’t understand what these mean! None of them make sense!”
Tera joined them just in time to hear his final outburst, and Ace colored at the sympathetic look the little girl gave him. Great. Now children pitied him. “Do you have footage from the security cameras going back at least a few hours?” she asked calmly. Ace was actually quite proud of the new Tera. She’d been logical and only a bit psychotic so far. She really was meant for this life.
“Yes, we might.” He turned to a computer screen and flicked it back to life, but the data was gone. Recent history showed a memory wipe thorough enough to clean the backup, and an email to his computer. “He sent me something about four minutes ago.”
A list of files. Ace opened them, pulled up the first.
Tera: Or should I say Jamie? Whichever you prefer, Ms. Cunning, I suppose. Your uncle has filed a missing person report on you. Be careful if you want to stay away from him, or go home if you wish. But choose carefully. Also, the police found data from a camera I didn’t notice, and they know who you are.
Akera: Your father was slime, your mother is a filthy whore. Sorry, but your prospects look bleak.
Wyth: I have nothing to say to you. You disgust me.
Saith: Get out while you can.
Zes: I am very sorry about getting you sent to prison, but I do not particularly like you. Also, you should know that your mother had terminal cancer. She would have died even without your help.
Vijf: You are twice the whore your sister will ever be, and not in a good way. Glad you put your talents to good use, but you really should tell Ace everything you learn. People might think you are a traitor.
Vier: If you live, I am sorry. If you are dead, I am twice as contrite.
Drei: You should clean up your room.
Deuce: You had no choice. Stop hating yourself for what you did years ago. Don’t give other people power over you unnecessarily.
Ace: I loved your mother deeply. You should see her more often. She misses you. Also, she knows something you may be interested in. I never thought you could be Ace, because you are weak, and small, and can never be your father. But perhaps that is a good thing. Time will tell, though I will never see, what kind of man you become.
-Neuf, the Watcher, the Duke, the White Rabbit.