Episode Three: Her Ladyship: Scene 19

The tension between us lasted. I even grabbed a sandwich, tasted it. Egg salad. Very good egg salad.

Finally, she sighed. “That’s the problem. I can’t. The prophecy says whatever happens will happen when you get your memories back. If I tell you the prophecy…”

“…it might help me get my memories back.” My eyes narrowed in sudden suspicion. “Did you wipe my memories?”

“No, dear. No. Trust me when I say I couldn’t have done it.”

But somebody had. I knew that now. To delay this prophecy. Take away my memories while they worked out what to do about me…afraid to kill me and afraid to let me live?

Or was there more to it than that. I glanced at Kanesha. “What do you think?”

“I think she’s telling the truth. I also think she’s scared.”

Her Ladyship nodded. “I am scared. Not for myself…it hardly matters to me if Ragnarok is fought tomorrow.” Soft, that.

It probably didn’t. As old as she was, she wouldn’t lose much if the world ended. Not as much as I would or Kanesha would, but it was likely she had children and grandchildren. “I suppose it wouldn’t…” That was awkward.

“I’ve had a good life with very few regrets. Don’t be afraid to mention my age – I do.”

I laughed again. Despite everything, despite the fact that we were technically enemies, I liked this woman. I warmed to her. There was nothing I could do about it – I was bound to like her, I thought, from the start.

“Okay. So. I can’t get my memory back or it happens. But without knowing the prophecy, I can’t help. And I want to.”

“What if the help you have to give is dying?” Her tone was serious.

“I’d rather avoid that. But there might be a loophole. Or the prophecy might be false.”

Her Ladyship shook her head. “It’s unlikely to be fake. Not impossible, of course, but unlikely. I’ve called off as many of the dogs as I can, but as I said…”

“You don’t have full control.” I appreciated that. “Then you won’t mind if I send some of them back with their tails between their legs.”

“Please try not to kill more of them than you have to.” Her lips quirked. “Good men are hard to find. Ones loyal enough to ignore what I say to do what they think is right?”

I considered that. “They really think I’ll destroy the world as soon as I get my memories back.” Then a horrible thought hit me, one I didn’t voice.

There was an alternative. Put it off indefinitely. If I was in a drugged stupor somewhere I couldn’t do anything and, thus…no. That wouldn’t work, again, if I had to actively do something to save the world. “Here’s what I think. I think I have a choice to make, at some point, and I think I need my memories to make it properly. Or do I?”

I might not, depending on what that choice was. I might be able to do it blind. And I could see the fear in her eyes at that thought. “Would you intentionally destroy the world?”

‘He’d never hurt you. Intentionally.’ Those words echoed in my mind. “I would die first.”

“I do think you at least think you mean it. At your age, though, death is not a reality.”

Which was when Kanesha put her foot on mine. I glanced around. “I think some of your not-so-tame canines are here.”

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