“I call,” Jeska said.
“I got four kings,” the Destroyer said. His poker-proxy turned the cards around to show the winning hand, tucking the dart behind the cards at the same time.
Jeska looked at her four jacks.
“You do cheat well,” Jeska said.
“I never cheat. And even if I did, cheating is allowed. Which makes it not cheating,” the Destroyer said, for Q44’s benefit.
The Destroyer hadn’t expected to win the game at the exact moment he put his plan into action. It was a satisfying coincidence.
Time to go, thought the Destroyer’s minds.
Finally, one added.
Jeska threw her cards down.
Then the Destroyer’s cloud did the same. The normal cards fluttered to the table.
But the dart did not flutter. The Destroyer had built an aerodynamic wonder, a craft that turned Q44’s casual toss into rapid speed.
Surprised, Q44 watched the dart fly toward Riox’s sleeping form at 73 mile per hour.
There was a blur of movement, a cracking sound, a dull thud, and a groan from Riox.
Jeska was too shocked to move. Anderson wasn’t sure, but felt something terrible had happened. Prnei had no expression.
Step eight of the Destroyer’s 2.7 billion-year assassination plan was over — Riox lay still.
“I win,” the Destroyer said.