e death." He seized Azzie in a powerful grip.
Then Quentin cried, "You can't kill him!"
"I can't? Why not?"
"Because he's my friend."
"Young man, you don't seem to realize what an exposed position you're in. I'm the Eater of Souls, my boy. Yours will be like a little maraschino cherry on top of the whipped-cream sundae of this foolish demon here."
"No!" And Quentin smacked Nameless over the head with his open palm. Nameless reared back on his wheels, baring his teeth, and Puss poked the superdeity in the stomach. Nameless collapsed onto the bloody sand. Sir Oliver came into the ring tugging a lance, and with Mother Joanna's help he poked Nameless in the eye.
"Oh, this is too much," Nameless said as the lance passed through his head and he died.
Ananke appeared in the heavens above them, her old lady's face smiling.
"Well done, my children!" she cried. "I knew you could all cooperate, if the cause were dire enough."
"So that's why you hatched this scheme!" Azzie cried.
"One of many reasons, my pet," Ananke said. "There are always reasons within reasons, and every reason for a reason may itself be scrutinized and its constituent reasons adduced. Don't question it, my friend. You are alive, all of you."
And then they all came together into a dance. They held hands, they mounted to the air. Faster and higher they flew, all of them together, all of them there except…