Okay, finally the last chapter of this thing. Thanks to everyone who's followed this far. I hope the next/last Saga episode will make it worth your while.

"Well," Branson said as they passed the Enterprise city limits, "you're well out of that."

Tal braked, swinging his fist sideways for a glancing blow to the chieftain's job. Branson rolled nonchalantly with the punch, but began to look concerned when Tal whipped out the .45. "You listen to me. I think you're only reason I ever had to do a thing for you was because Enid's even worse. But I didn't think even you were low enough to let him get to her. And that's what you did, didn't you? Of all of us, you had a weapon loaded and ready, and a perfect shot to boot. Why didn't ya? Just tell me, why didn't ya?"

"Well, I must say, it wouldn't look very good for you if you killed me for not doing what you wouldn't at the powwow," Branson said coolly.

Tal fired out the window. "This ain't about me! Now tell me!"

"Well... I could say I saw Floozie Q coming. I could say I wasn't familiar with the weapon. I could say it wouldn't have been that easy shooting around everyone and everything even from above. I could say any of those things, and not be lying. But that wouldn't be getting to the heart of it. Frankly, Nails always caused me more trouble than I could be convinced he was worth. All things considered, leaving him alive might do more harm to Enid than killing him. And that girl, well, she's a charmer, but she doesn't have what it takes to do what we will have to. You do, and if I had to choose, I'd make the same choice every time."

Tal's finger quivered on the trigger. "God help you, you sick *."

"If He was going to, I think I would know about it by now," Branson said calmly. Tal gave one last searing glare. Then he holstered the gun and restarted the car.

By the last residue of the sun's light, hints of movement could be seen in the mountains ahead.

The outliers of the horde were within sight of Vegas.