“What happened?” Pincoy asked, his face fallen and open-eyed. “How could someone do this?”
Enki’s body lay in front of us. I had taken it down from the Hiding Cave entrance where the murderer had it crucified. Of all Liz’s Consorts, Enki was the most timid, the most gentle. The most defenseless.
“He is bad,” said Iara, referring to the killer.
“It’s Chris,” I said. I had suspected him for some time. We had never found his body after the Monk scuttled en route to the capital. He had ample evil inside of him, promoting him to increasing acts of violence and degradation. His love for deformity and mutilation had continuously grown. And now he had found us and was sending us a message in blood: You are not safe. You are not protected.
“We have let the worst kind of person loose in Zebulon,” Pincoy was pacing now. He kept pausing, bringing a hand to his face, and then walking and muttering under his breath.
“We’ll have to catch him,” I offered.
“No,” said Lithe, though I wasn’t sure he understood. Iara did though, and nodded her assent to Lithe. “No,” she echoed. “First Glaucus is king.”
“But I thought you were worried about the murders?” I asked.
Pincoy shook his head. “I am terrified, David. But if we look for the murderer we may be endangering Glaucus. Glaucus is too important. You are too important. We must prioritize.”
“Wait a minute,” I began, “this sounds an awful lot like the decision Heqet made when she ‘prioritized’ Zebulon’s health over Jonah’s. I don’t want to sacrifice the few for the many.”
“All right, David,” said Pincoy. “Where should we begin? Do you know where Chris went? Do you know what Chris wants? How do you propose we go looking for Chris?”
“I don’t know.”
“None of us do. But we do know where your wife and son are. We know what Heqet wants and we know that Glaucus can stop her.”
Iara’s eyes were shining brightly. “It is known, David. We have a clear path.”
She was right. This isn’t a choice between equal and opposite goods. This is no choice at all. We have to act and Chris has to wait.
I just hope we aren’t about to make him wait forever, with someone else guaranteed to pay the price.