Randy: What would you do if someone whacked Ninx?
Randy: Hypothetically. And she wasn’t around for you to glom on anymore.
Vineguard: It wouldn’t happen.
Randy: Hypothetically, it happened.
Vineguard: Hypothetically, I stopped it. I beat the assassin about the head and shoulders.
Randy: But let’s say there’s five assassins. You’re knocking around the first four, but then the fifth whacks her.
Vineguard: That’s preposterous. She’d strike him in the neck, or crush him between boulders.
Randy: Nine assassins. And you knock around the first four, and she knocks around the other four. But the ninth slips past you both and shanks her. One poke, one kill, quick as anything.
Vineguard: Neither of us saw him?
Randy: He was very good. She was very dead.
Vineguard: She’ll love knowing you think about these things.
Randy: So what would you do?
Vineguard: Where we you for this?
Randy: Oh, drunk. Very drunk. Slept through it like a coma.
Vineguard: That does seem plausible.
Randy: So? What would you do if the ninth guy whacked her?
Vineguard: I’d imagine I’d kill him on the spot. Cut him into… five even pieces? Hypothetically.
Randy: I mean with your life, you sissy.
Vineguard: I’d mourn her. Collect her remains, observe her family’s funeral rituals. Visit her mother and sisters, make peace.
Randy: A little late to win them over.
Vineguard: Gather any remaining plans she had for heists. Carry them off, perhaps mark her resting place with the prizes, except those too garish.
Randy: You’d spend the rest of your life decorating her?
Vineguard: I imagine I’d live longer than that. With all her remaining heists carried out, I presume enough time would elapse to find the genealogies of the nine assassins who attacked us on the hypothetical day. They themselves would be long-rotten, but they would have families. Parents, spouses, siblings, spawn, assorted aunts, uncles and grandparents.
Vineguard: Surely they weren’t immaculately conceived. With the genealogies mapped, it would only be a matter of finding their localities. I would start with those most dearly and closely related, in that priority, and execute everyone in their localities.
Randy: Hold on. Hold on. “Everyone?”
Vineguard: Unless they lived solitary lives, I presume there would be other folk around.
Randy: Innocent people?
Vineguard: True love does not short-sell.
Randy: And you’re not afraid a militia’s going to stop you?
Vineguard: No, because it’s not going to happen.
Randy: You would go after militias that never did anything to you just because someone stabbed her?
Vineguard: They’d have to go first, being practical. Strike a few hours after midnight when the watch is flagging and the sleepers are not yet rested. After that, fairly certain I would have the skill. If they took my life, then so be it. Otherwise, old age would have it.
Randy: You don’t know how to make hypothethicals fun, do you?
Vineguard: Of course I do. Don’t get drunk, Randy.