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The lights went off as the subway car traveled beneath Philadelphia. The lights came back on. The Sword could probably go a little easier on his afternoon workout. He had to travel tomorrow. At least he’d be flying first class. Little was worse than being scrunched together in coach.
“Give me your money!” shouted a man with a knife to a woman seated in the middle of the car. Two men stood behind him.
The Sword jumped up and unsheathed his blade.
One of the knife man’s friends shivered. “Jim, I think we pick da wrong train.”
The Sword pointed the tip of the blade at the knife and fired an energy beam at it.
The knife clanked away.
Jim’s other friend shouted, “Run, punks, or we skunked!”
The Sword arched his eyebrows. “You know the train’s still moving, right?”
“Take this, hotshot!” Jim charged the Sword.
The blade fired a stun beam at the charging white man, who fell with a thud.
The Sword looked at the other two. “Anyone else?”
They shook their heads.
The lady and nine other passengers broke into applause. Jesse soaked in the applause like a plant a summer day’s sun.
“Okay, then,” said the Sword. “Get in a circle with your friend and sit him up.”
The men complied.
The Sword pointed the blade at them. The blade fired a beam of energy at the men that formed an energy rope that bound the men.
The Sword turned to the would-be victim. “Ma’am, may I have your ID?”
The young redhead fished her identification from her purse. The Sword took down her name—Judy—and her address on a notebook he kept in a pouch on his belt. “Ma’am, may I have your number?”
Judy batted her green eyes at the Sword. “You gonna call me later?”
The Sword sighed. In his comic book, the Sword’s alter ego and Sariah were rival illustrators. When Jesse Miller got his girl, the Sword lost her. “It’s for the police.”
Judy’s face fell. “Oh.”
She gave the Sword her phone number and he wrote it down.
She mustered a smile. “Can I have an autograph?”
The Sword opened a 3” x 5” pouch on his belt and pulled out a glossy photo of himself and the Revelator. The Sword sighed. He should have brought his solo photos. “To Judy?”
The Sword end up handing out photos to all the other passengers as well.
One of the would-be robbers looked up. “Hey, man, what about me?”
The Sword raised an eyebrow. “You want my autograph after I captured you?”
“Yeah, man, yo’ comic book’s tight!”
Do I need to fire the writer? “Is it really so badly written you found the crooks more inspiring than the heroes?”
Embarrassment shone on the man’s face. “I know I shouldn’t — ”
Jim interrupted with profanity.
The reticent thief said, “I just don’t know what else to do.”
The Sword smiled. “Tell you what, I’ll give you an autograph, if you’ll take the business card for Rev. Thornton Thomas. He can help you turn your life around. It’s his specialty.”
The thief nodded. “Sounds phat.”
Jim said, “When I bust outta these—”
The Sword cut off the profanity that followed with the point of the blade at Jim’s throat. “You’ll what?”
Jim clammed up.
“Jim, here’s a hint. Do anything to your friend, and I’ll hear about it.”
Shivering, Jim nodded.