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“You are awfully confident about this”, Aisling says as she joins him at the table, absentmindedly strapping a Beretta 92 to her leg. “Even with all this time we won’t be prepared for all eventualities. One mistake and we’re dead meat.”

Hilal just smiles. “I have faith.”

She grabs another chair and sits down next to him. “Why do you so firmly believe a bunch of teenagers who have been trained to kill each other for their entire lives will suddenly work together?”

He smiles again. It’s starting to piss her off. “Can’t you see? It’s already started.” He points at the screen in front of him, finger tracing over the bright dots moving over a map of the world.

“The Koori and the Harrapan came together in China, where the Koori rescued the Haarapan from the Donghu. The Donghu in turn made an unlikely alliance with the Nabatean when they went to Turkey together. The Olmec and the Cahokian joined forces even before the Calling.” He turns to face her. “And you haven’t tried to kill me for a while either.”

She grins for a moment, but it disappears as soon as it came. „And what about the Shang? You saw him at the Calling, he is crazy! One of his explosions and we’re all done for.”

Hilal tilted his head thoughtfully. “I think the Mu had an effect on him. She might be able to turn him around.”

Aisling sighs. “Your words in God’s ears, Hilal.”

He nods. “I hope they are.” He looks at his phone lying in front of him. “Our message is just the trigger for a wish that grows deep within each player.”

“Kill the maker. Stop endgame.” the message reads. The beacon on top of the building will send out these words in a never ending stream across the entire world, leading the remaining players right to this place. Hilal leans back in his chair, eyes on the blinking dots. He takes a deep breath and hears Aisling next to him do the same. Her fingers find his and he squeezes them.

He hits send.

Kill the maker. Stop endgame. Kill the maker. Stop endgame. It’s like a prayer, going on and on and on.

Kill the maker.

Stop endgame.