Ahasuerus

You couldn’t fly into or out of Ethiopia directly, of course – the Italians saw to that – so he slipped over the border and and went down the coast. Easy as pie. He’d have had a harder time except that they knew he was dead, dead and buried. He liked that, enough so that he was thinking about keeping some of the bullets when they finally worked their way out. Kind of a souvenir, you know? Maybe get them monogrammed; that’d be good advertising – “We Always Deliver,” that sort of thing.

He fed himself on such dreams until the plane was in the air, not paying attention to the other passengers. It wasn’t until the right engine choked and died that he looked around and realized who else was on the plane with him. He went forward and tapped Longinus on the shoulder. “Come on,” he said. “We need to get out of here.”

“Son of a bitch,” Longinus said, without heat. “Somebody’s playing games.”

“Make sure you shut the door,” he told the stewardess.

“Shut what door?” she said, but the Roman had already kicked it open and pulled him through.

He slapped the soldier on the back as they fell. “Good to see you again, hey?” The wind carried away whatever response there was, but he could just hear the second engine catching and roaring back to life. He thought about that until the ground came up to meet them.

Render unto Caesar: the Longinus side