The Sword exited the plane, along with Revelator. He faced the somber crowd of heroes and bit his lip. “This is my fault, and I’m sorry. I got us into this mess, and I’ll get us out of it, I promise.” Exactly how, I haven’t the foggiest.
Revelator said, “Those of you who rely on technology need to adjust.”
Small Packages walked over to Speed Skater. “You’ll need protection without your 200 Mile an hour skates. Skyscraper and I will keep you safe, little lady.”
Speed Skater picked up Small Packages and threw him in the air. Skyscraper caught him. Speed Skater kicked dirt up at him. “I can take of myself, little dork.”
“I’m afraid I’m not so lucky,” said Ice Cube, the cold hand of justice.
The Sword slapped his forehead. Of course Ice Cube would be in trouble. An accident changed the chemical properties of his body so that at normal temperatures, his solids would melt and his fluids boil off. An implant pumped chemicals through his body so that, even in Death Valley, his body temperature would remain at a comfortable-for him-ten below zero. But most didn’t notice unless they shook hands with him without his ice blue gloves on.
Revelator grabbed a first aid kit and removed a scientific thermometer. He placed it under Ice Cube’s tongue. Twenty seconds later, he grabbed it back and sighed. “He’s practically feverish, he’s up to minus five.”
“I can keep you alive,” said the Sword. “My blade can fire a freeze-beam that will keep you on ice until we find a way out.”
Revelator looked up. “Jesse, we’ll need a cool place. The temperature around here will melt him in hours.”
Small Packages got up and ran over to Skyscraper and jumped up into his pocket. He pulled out a small pair of binoculars. “Come on, bro. Give me a better view.”
Skyscraper grew to sixty feet tall and turned in a slow circle. Skyscraper shrunk back down to normal size. Small Packages said, “All right, there’s a cave, a mile east by north east of here. It’s right past some hot springs, you can’t miss it.”
The Sword said, “I’ll take Ice Cube on out there.”
Revelator said, “We also need to find a place to camp.”
Small Packages said, “My friend, I have a place for that too. Through the forests-”
Databank interrupted. “And over the river to Grandmother’s house we go.”
Small Packages turned to the Gothic 5’6″ human computer. “You mind now, lady, I’m trying to have a serious conversation.”
Databank shrugged. “Sorry.”
“All right, so you go through the forest to the northwest of here and in the center is an empty field we can camp in.”
The Sword nodded. “Good work, Small Packages. Revelator, head towards the camp location.” Maybe he wouldn’t pull Small Packages and Skyscraper’s comic book if they ever got out of this alive.
The Defender said, “Let’s get Texas Ranger’s body inside the plane, so we can give him a proper burial if we make it out.”
The Sword nodded. “Take care of that, and it’s when we make it out, Defender.”
The Sword placed his blade on the ground. “Blade, expand!”
The blade grew to the size of a surfboard. The Sword took Ice Cube’s hand. “Come on, Ice Cube.”
The two stepped on the board. The Sword said, “Magnetize.”
The blade held the Sword’s metal boots in place. He said to Ice Cube, “Hold on tight. Blade, head east by north east.”
The blade soared in the air.
Ice Cube stared down. “I’ve never flown like this before.”
“I prefer to drive myself.”
“You go to church, don’t you?”
“I try to make it there weekly. It’s great for financial and personal well-being.” Plus it made his wife happy.
“What happens when you die?”
The blade touched down near the mouth of the cave. The Sword pressed down on the blade, and the sword demagnetized and returned to normal size. The Sword arched his eyebrows. “What brings that up?”
“I’ve not spent a lot of time thinking about it. Until a few minutes ago. Now I can’t stop.”
The Sword shrugged. “Nothing to think about. We’re doing the Big Guy’s work. That’s our job. The next life is His, and He’ll take care of us. Think of it as like a pension.”
“We’re not going home, you know. An electronic brought us here and we can’t build electronics.”
The Sword swallowed. “Don’t talk like that. I’ve got to think positive and so do you. Positive thinking will keep you alive, negative thinking won’t. Databank and Revelator will find a way off this stinking planet. A month from now, you’ll be home, with a nice, cool, low body temperature. And you know what, the first thing when I get back, we’ll do a crossover between you and me in the comic books. And you know, I think we can even make an Ice Cube movie.”
Ice Cube half smiled. “Sword, you could almost make me an optimist.”
The Sword sighed. If only he could fully believe it.
Ice Cube walked into the cave. “All right, Sword, do it. Just remember, I do need to to breathe, too.”
“Right. I’ll make an air hole.”
The Sword placed his blade down on the ground before Ice Cube’s black slacks. “Blade, freeze.”
The blade fired a beam of ice. He lifted the zooming spray of ice and formed a thick, claustrophobic, door-less igloo around Ice Cube. “Blade, Light.” He aimed fast and true, and cut a quick air hole in the side.
The Sword pulled the blade back. “See you tomorrow, old friend.” And each day until they got out of here.
The Sword walked out of the cave. “Blade, expand and magnetize!”
He mounted and flew to catch up with the heroes marching towards their chosen camp location.
Several minutes later, the Sword soared over the heads of the marching heroes and flew onward until he reached the clearing. He rubbed his eyes. Before him was an old English village.
The Sword landed in the middle of the square. “What the devil?”
He turned. Lord History stood with Revelator at the village’s edge. Lord History was wearing his ridiculous white polyester/nylon unitard with red underwear worn on the outside, white cape, and a stenciled red “H” on his chest. Oh, yes, and of course 18th century Hessian riding boots. When will I get him to finally change that costume? We’re lucky to sell any of his comics at all.
“I say. Do you like it?” Lord History waved at the village he had created. “I thought this would beat camping out.”
The Sword whistled. “Wow, I thought you could only get four things from the past in a day?”
“Chap, when I first got my powers, I thought small. Now, I’ve begun to realize that my powers allow me to take items in thoughts. The landing gear was one thought, the hook and wire a second, the village a third. There was a time where I thought that to re-create this village, I had to think of each house and each item inside them separately, but that is not so.”
“You’re amazing, Lord History.” The Sword began to count the buildings. “Okay, we have seventeen houses, so heroes can sleep two to a house. We’ll have an extra with thirty-two of us.”
Revelator hissed, “Jesse, twenty-nine.”
The Sword’s face fell. He was used to counting Dark Mystic, the Texas Ranger, and Ice Cube. “Okay, twenty-nine.”
“I bunk alone,” said Payday.
No one objected.
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