Professor Ian Buckell shuddered as the cab pulled up to his lair in suburban Boston.
The cabby popped Nicorette gum. “That’ll be $23.74, mac.”
Ian pulled his money from his wallet and handed it over. “Here.”
The cabby counted the money and stared. “Pal, there’s more than $200 here.”
Ian sighed. “I’m a good tipper.” Plus money didn’t do you any good in Hell.
He watched the cab leave. For only a few moments had Dark Mystic lost control to the demonic spirit on which his power relied, but it had been enough: enough to fasten an inter-spacial teleportation beam to the front of the plane. Enough to press the button. Enough to abandon ship and send Earth’s greatest to their doom.
Ian stared at his Gothic door. Behind there he could depart Earth with dignity.
A note would close the loose ends, so the world would know how its superheroes had perished. Perhaps it would dissuade someone from underestimating the demonic realm as he had.
Then the method of execution: he had quite a collection of poisons to choose from.
Two gloved masculine hands grasped his throat and pulled him to the maple tree outside his house and held him up a foot in the air. He stared down at his captor: a youthful Supernatural Intelligence Bureau agent dressed in a black trench coat.
From the shadows stepped Carden Geneseve, dressed to match. “Prof. Buckell, we meet again, and as I feared, under far less pleasant circumstances.”
The younger agent said, “You filed a flight plan with a passenger list boasting of every costumed hero on Earth. The plane never made it to Jamaica, but here we have you flying in from Miami to Boston and driving home like nothing happened.”
Carden came close to Ian. “Buckell, where is the Sword?”
What he’d done, he couldn’t explain, but he could make them understand. “The Sword is no more.”
Carden’s face fell. The younger agent lowered Ian as if he no longer had the strength to deny gravity it’s hold on him. “Oh God, have mercy on us.”
Carden said, “We have to take you in. You’re officially out of our jurisdiction. The FBI will handle this from here. I only wish you’d listened to us earlier.”
Ian lowered his head. There’d be no easy way out. He’d get what he deserved. A trial and execution by the American government, or eternal solitude in Super Max. Or as much solitude as he ever had with Jalzabel.
Then again, they might also extradite him to China, Mexico, Australia, the UK, Russia, Kenya, Israel, Egypt, Japan, Greece, India, and the Solomon Islands . . . .
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