“This is the border?” It was full night, and Freetrick couldn’t see worth a damn anyway, but he was sure he ought to be able to recognize something from out of the stories. There was no wall, white stone, not even a ditch or a line of barbed wire. All there was, was a utilitarian concrete shack, a flag, and a flat place in the road. “Where’s the wall? Where are the Paladins? Where is the striking Keep?”
Freetrick flinched backward as a shape like a half-melted candle dripped off one of the carriage’s eves and unfurled into the wings and head of Mr. Skree. “Allow this insignificant pustule to express his sympathy with the disappointment of the Lord of Chaos. It is an insult that the Rationalist scum guard their borders so negligently.”
“…Yes,” said Freetrick.
“And when,” rasped Mr. Skree, “can we expect to obliterate them utterly?”
“…soon?” said Freetrick.
“Very good, Malevolence.”
There was a pause.
“Can I…get out?” asked Freetrick.
“No.” Bloodbyrn slapped the quivering monster that covered his knees. “There will be no need for you to leave the carriage, my lord. Mr. Skree will take care of all the details.”
Freetrick winced, wondering exactly how those details were to be taken care of. “Mr. Skree,” he said, “don’t kill them.”
“As the Sovereign of Pestilence commands.” Mr. Skree’s voice contained no hint of emotion.