whatever was left of the monster would grab hold of Mayor Altor and tear him apart. Nice. Not tonight. Not on my watch.

     I shouldered the rifle and grabbed the revenant under the arms. Dumb. It was inhumanly strong. It forced its arms down, breaking my grip…swatting me backwards. The strike nearly knocked me out. I fell back and it again moved toward the skylight. Ignoring the blood in my mouth and hazy vision, I braced one foot, pushed forward and clipped its knees with a tackle. Unbalanced, it collapsed down to the asphalt roof. That gave me time to redraw my curved blade. Nothing fancy. No instant kill. I couldn’t do it quick, but I could do it thorough. Make sure there wasn’t enough of it left to break the skylight, much less kill the Mayor. It was time to carve this bird. I fell into the task.

    Lightning lit up the sky. I stood above the pulsing and squirming remains of the revenant. In the flashing storm I saw a figure across the alley on the next roof; a strange man cupping his hands and whispering to green flame cradled in his palms. Witchdoctor. I unslung the rifle, aimed, and pulled the trigger. One motion. As I fired, thunder boomed. The roof shook as the witchdoctor fell, engulfed in green flame. What was left of the revenant emulated in similar bale fire. I slung the rifle and before the next thunder stroke, was gone.

Damned for his cleverness, continued his speech, unaware how close he came to an assassin’s bullet. Words are cheap…and life is cheaper. The Mayor looked small, so far below, as I peered through the dingy skylight. Get your mind back in the game, Mr. Kedge. I picked up the Mosin-Nagant , 7.62 bolt action rifle that the assassin dropped and began to scan across the rooftop for a second shooter, instinctively, checking the chamber. I thought I saw something move on the roof across the alley.

     A rustling sound. . No. The assassin, still moving…was forcing himself upright. I hooked the butt of the rifle around in a tight arc, catching him full in the chin as he stood. The hood he wore fell away with the bone splitting impact. The assassin barely reacted to the blow. When it pulled its head upright, I saw it, its pale, lifeless eyes; the stitched mouth and the drawn tallow flesh. It was a revenant, a corpse doing the bidding of a dark master. There was a witchdoctor at work here. It turned away from me and began to walk doggedly towards the skylight. The mindless brute now intended to go through the light. That’s all Rotwang City needs, a corpse falling three stories to the auditorium floor, splattering the front row with its unholy guts, and while they stand horrified,