“I don’t want to kill you,” Jane said, “but I have to tell you that I feel pretty strongly about not having my hand forced.”
“You would murder Queen Mab on her own doorstep?” the Queen looked affronted, staring at Jane down her long nose. “Queen Mab and her consort Oberon, Peerless Among the Fey?”
Jane laughed and swore in Adamic. The curse word shook the mirror hanging behind the two fairies askew. “Maybe,” she said, “and maybe not.” Behind her, she definitely heard the sound of fighting getting louder. “You can’t kill me, and I have no people you can retaliate against. Why should I care?”
“If the occupants of the Mirror Throne were so crassly murdered by a Flatworlder,” the Queen sniffed. “There would be war between the worlds. Are you so detached from your father’s and mother’s descendants that you can accept that?”
Jane shrugged her shoulders. “Maybe,” she said again, “and maybe not. But I’d sure as hell kill a couple of Queen’s Rangers stupid enough to dress up in costume and try to fool me. And nobody would go to war over that.”
They didn’t blink. The King curdled his eyebrows like she’d said something distasteful. “Queen’s Rangers?” he sneered.
She pointed the gun at him. “Drop your pants,” she ordered.
Pop! Pop! Whizzang!
The sudden presence of bullets in the air told Jane that the band had caught up to her and she was out of time. If her ka weren’t so drained, or her pistol, she’d turn and fight them. On the other hand, if her ka weren’t so drained, she could have just blasted these annoying fairies into oblivion. Instead, she raised the pistol and fired a shot into the air.
“Two left,” she said, pointing the muzzle at Oberon. “I don’t miss.”
“Stop!” he pleaded, his eyes suddenly serious.
“Oberon…” the Queen warned him.
With quick but trembling fingers, the King undid his belt buckle and dropped his pants. A donkey’s tail twitched nervously into sight.
“I thought so.” Bang! Bang! Jane emptied the Model 1910, firing the last two shots into the center of the fake Oberon’s chest. He flew back without a sound, hitting the wall and sinking to the floor.
“Give my regards to Mab,” Jane snorted.