The plane slowed to a stop.
Lord History said, “A tail hook and arresting wires appeared to be in order.”
Revelator smiled. It was an old set up used with military planes on aircraft carriers. As the plane landed, the tail hook caught on the arresting wires, slowing the momentum of the plane and then stopping it.
Jesse staggered into the cockpit using his bronze age sword like a cane. “Okay, now can you tell me what happened?”
Revelator sneered. “Sure, partner. Your pal Dark Mystic betrayed us, abandoned the plane, cut all the parachutes, and created an evil anomaly in the sky. Defender did the best he could, and though we still ended up flying into this thing, I think I’m comfortable saying he saved our lives.
“Wasn’t I saying something about the Mystic an hour ago? Yes, I do believe I said that this guy would turn on you. But, why bother listening to the ‘sidekick.'”
Jesse’s face fell. Revelator grunted. His words had cut through his friend like Jesse’s sword cut through steel. He’d apologize to Jesse later-if they got out alive.
Texas Ranger came up and patted Jesse on the shoulder. “It’s gonna be all right.”
Revelator cleared his throat. “Let’s get off.” He and Highland Guardian put down the emergency exit slide.
In two minutes, everyone was off the plane, and into stagnant air that smelled faintly of active volcanoes and rotten eggs.
Revelator peered at the sky: Broad daylight. “That’s not right.”
Jesse asked him, “What isn’t, Laban?”
“The sky. Look up. When we left, it was eleven o’clock at night.” Revelator looked down at his analog watch. “According to my watch it’s 1:25 AM.”
“It looks like noon,” said Jesse.
Revelator went back to the cargo area. “Help me with these bags.”
Jesse and Revelator pulled Revelator’s luggage off the plane. He opened one, pulled out his World Almanac, and flipped to the maps section. “Take a look, to be this late in the day, we’d have to be in Russia or India.”
Jesse shook his head. “It’s too warm for Russia this time of year.”
And why, or how, Dark Mystic would send them to India was beyond Revelator. He pulled out a pair of binoculars and peered through them. He zoomed several miles out until he spotted deciduous trees in green leaf with gnarled, orange-streaked, black trunks. “Jesse, take a look.”
Jesse grabbed the binoculars. “At least there’s some vegetation.”
“I’m not sure if we should be relieved. I’m not a botanist, but that tree looks weird. I’ve never seen a tree quite like it on Earth.”
A shout burst through the air.
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