Fifth Column, Part Ten

Continued from Part Nine

Commander Justice stood outside the Sword’s door. Would the Sword even care what he had to say? It didn’t matter. He had to get it said. He knocked on the door.

“It’s open!” the Sword answered from within the medieval English cottage.

Commander Justice walked in.

The Sword stood. “Commander, how are you doing? Curador said that stab wound was pretty bad.”

“I had to change into my spare costume, but thanks to Curador I’m not too bad. I’ve been more woozy after donating blood.”

“You give blood? That is so excellent. It’s a behavior I haven’t really worked into a comic book, but it’s something we should definitely encourage. Maybe with a—”

“Sword! That’s not why I came. I came to confess.”

“To what?”

“Resenting you. As a Christian, I’m not supposed to hate or envy people. I’ve got to admit I resent you, and I probably hate you for what you’ve been doing to my family.”

“I don’t understand. When I took over Justice Comics, I made our first priority re-paying the Justice Family five million in royalties from when the previous owner used your name without paying you.”

“It’s not about the money, Sword. You’ve done fine with the money.”

“Then what?”

“You act like you invented supers. You’re the big boss, and we’re all mere sidekicks. Never mind that some of us have been doing this for years, or that my family has been doing this for generations. I know you realized on September 11 that real evil exists in the world. Some of us didn’t need two buildings to blow up to tell us that.”

The Sword sat down in his chair. “I’ve never meant anything by it, Commander. It’s just, for a company to succeed, it needs a strong promoter at the head of it. A voice. I can be that voice.”

“Sorry that my family was never great at self-promotion.”

“For not trying, you sure made a big impression in the Big Apple.”

“It’s not about promotion or comic books. It’d just be nice to be treated like someone who has been doing this since I was twelve rather than someone who just yesterday got their superpowers from an accident.”

“The Captain first took you out when you were twelve? That means you’ve been doing this—”

“About as long as you’ve been alive.”

“Commander, I apologize if I’ve not consulted you enough. I’ll try to do better.”

Skyscraper, Small Packages, and Cap-tain Revolution burst in. Small Packages said, “Hey, Sword. Where’s Revelator?”

“He headed over to the science camp to do some soil analysis with Data Bank.”

“When did he leave?”

“About an hour ago.”

“We checked there. Data Bank hasn’t seen Revelator since this morning.”

The Sword stood up. “Let’s go find him.” He turned to Commander Justice. “Care to come along?”

“I’d be glad to.”

Continued…Next Monday

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