The Double Cross, Part Nineteen

Continued from Part Eightteen

Small Packages stared up at the sun-less sky. “Bro, keep an eye out. Comman-der Justice will be back any second.”

“I don’t know about that,” Revelator said. “He could make it home or—”

“He’ll be back” The Sword paced. “Pantheon’s dead. Ice Cube’s dead. Texas Ranger’s dead. The Tarantula King’s dead.”

“Not yet,” Revelator said. “Curador is working on him, and I picked up a clear thought pattern. He’s scared, but he’s alive. I’d give him a good shot.”

“That’s a good turn, at least. Defen-der, Lord History, Skyscraper, I want to talk to you and to Revelator.” The Sword put his blade on the ground and jumped on it. “Blade, expand.”

He rose into the air above them. “I want an explanation, and I want it now.”

“I was approached—” Captain Revol-ution said.

Commander Justice came hurtling to-wards the ground. Skyscraper expanded upwards in height to catch Commander Justice and brought Commander Justice to the ground. Small Packages said, “Nice catch, bro.”

The Sword turned to Commander. “Are you okay?”

Commander Justice nodded. “You won’t believe where I just was.”

The Sword put a hand out. “In a moment, Commander. As you were saying, Revolution.”

“I was approached by Dark Mystic. He proposed we kill those he identified as essential members of the team and those of us who agreed to participate would join forces to kill the rest in wholesale slaughter. When we finished the rest of you off, he would let us go home.”

“And you agreed to treason?”

“It occurred to me that someone would. I joined the scheme to foil it. I asked permission to go after the Defender first. I needed an ally to help me stage the fake murders and help foil the traitors. I brought along a chemical solution that, when added to a bit of blood, will take on its properties, thus allowing me set up the crime scenes.”

“Why Defender? You hate him.”

“Exactly. No one would expect an alliance between me and the Defender. That’s what made it so perfect. I saved Revelator and Lord History from Pantheon and made her believe she’d killed them, and drugged and kidnapped Skyscraper.”

Skyscraper rubbed his arm. Small Packages stared at the needle track on his left arm. “You okay, bro?”

Skyscraper nodded.

The Sword asked, “Did anyone else know?”

“Curador,” said Captain Revolution.

Revelator nodded. “Pantheon got me pretty bad. We had to bring in Curador.”

Captain Revolution said, “Dark My-stic wanted an American conspirator as well. When I changed cottages and Taran-tula King became my roommate, he was willing to join in.”

The Sword folded his arms. “And the reason you didn’t think I needed to know?”

“The fewer people who knew, the better.”

“I’m sure we all appreciate living in terror the past three and a half days while you guys have been having a grand time kidnapping folks and playing games!”

Captain Revolution glared. “If not for me, Pantheon would have killed a lot of people.”

“Bull. You could have alerted me and we could have brought her in. Instead, you decided to hot shot it, and undermined our cohesion and trust in one another.”

The Sword zoomed over the heroes on his blade. “Look, folks, we may never fight together again. The Guild of Heroes is look-ing like one of the worst ideas I ever had. But until we get home and can all go back to being lone wolves, I don’t want to see this type of thing happen ever again. De-fender, Revelator, and Revolution, you have really disappointed me.”

Revelator shook his head. “I’m head-ed back to camp.”

“We’re not done. Commander Justice had some information.”

“I read his mind. All I’m going to see here is you making a jerk of yourself. I’ve seen enough of that for one day.”

Revelator walked away.

Tarantula King charged towards their location.

The Sword said, “Tarantula King, I’m glad to see you—”

Tarantula King jumped Captain Rev-olution and wrapped his arms around Rev-olution’s throat. “I’m not going back!”

Revolution threw off Tarantula King, leapt on his back, and inserted a syringe into one of his left arms. Tarantula King passed out.

Captain Revolution stood. “He’ll be out for a good six hours.”

“Good,” The Sword said.  “We’ve got six hours then to figure out why everyone’s going crazy.”

Continued next Monday

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