When they arrived at John’s house, they found it in ruins. The battle between John and Josiah had grown fiercer and fiercer, demolishing the building in the process; but both combatants were still going at it.
Josiah fired five bullets, exhausting his ammunition, but all of them were deflected by John’s shield. John followed up with a jab from his sword, which hit Josiah square in the chest but was stopped by his metal sternum.
“You’re a better fighter than I expected, Mr. Morgan,” said Josiah. “But I am the Secretary of Evil, and I have more than a few tricks up my sleeve.”
Josiah jumped backward and slowly, calmly, took the cigarette from his mouth. He dropped it to the ground, extinguishing it with his foot after it hit.
He took his gun and tossed it away, then assumed a battle ready stance, motioning for John to attack. John held his weapons ready, not daring to make the first move – he knew Josiah was planning something.
What he wasn’t planning for, however, was Bill, who ran into the house and stood right between Josiah and John.
“Hi guys! Playing war? Can I play? Just don’t hit me, cause I bruise easily,” he said. “Bruises hurt.”
“Get out of the way, Bill! You don’t belong here; this is a serious battle!” yelled John.
Josiah took advantage of John’s temporary distraction, leaping clear over Bill and dashing forward, catching John off his guard. Josiah tackled John to the ground, knocking the wind out of him and forcing him to drop his weapons. The Secretary of Evil raised his fist above his head, preparing to finish the mailman off with one fatal blow.
“That looks fun! Wee!” said Bill, jumping into Josiah and knocking him off of John.
“Get off of me, you insufferable clod!” shouted Josiah, tossing Bill away as easily as if he were a rag doll of slightly below average intelligence.
Josiah leapt up again, ready to pounce on whoever moved first. But it wasn’t John, or Bill, as he was expecting – it was Jeannine. And she was grinning.
“What are you grinning about, you idiot woman?” asked Josiah. “I’ve knocked both of them to the ground, neither of them is armed, and it’s only a matter of time before I finish them off.”
“Look behind you, Malum,” said Jeannine.
With some trepidation, Josiah turned around. Cyprus was there, looking extremely angry. Josiah’s heart gave a little leap; he obviously still had feelings for her.
“Cyprus! What are you doing here?” he asked brightly.
“Combining clairvoyance and telepathy, I read your mind a little while ago and saw that you were planning to exact vengeance upon me, Josiah,” said Cyprus coldly. “I’m afraid I can’t let that happen.”
“Oh, I just said that in a fit of rage, Cyprus,” said Josiah. “I wouldn’t do anything to hurt you! I’ll tell you what: help me finish off John, and I’ll forgive you for rejecting me.”
“No, Josiah. I’m not helping you anymore. I came here to stop you, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
“Ha! You’re going to help John now, are you? Well, it won’t make a difference! I’m unstoppable – insuperable! Nothing you can do will prevent me from destroying him, and if you stand in my way, then I will destroy you!” declared Josiah.
“Oh, but you’re wrong,” argued Cyprus. “I was always more evil than you were. Why do you think I wasn’t interested in you? I realized you were a pretender, merely a dilettante; so I turned you down. And now, Josiah, I am going to finish you off.”
Josiah clenched his fists in anger, reluctant to fight the woman he had coveted. To make matters worse, in the time it had taken them to speak, both John and Bill had gotten to their feet once more. And then all hell broke lose.