“We’re running out of heroes.” Small Packages stared over the cliff’s edge at the costume of the Sword’s sidekick, Revelator.
The Sword took off his helmet, knelt, and began to weep. “Laban, oh dear God, no.”
The eighteen-inch-tall full grown man looked up at his boss. “Sword, it’s okay.”
“It’ll never be okay. If I had listened to Laban about Dark Mystic, none of this would have happened.”
If I’d know about Mystic, I wouldn’t have even been on that plane, but the Sword doesn’t need the guilt right now.
“It’s part of the job. We agreed to hold you blameless in the event of death, dismemberment, or disability while we are performing our superhero duties.”
The Sword raised his eyebrow. “When did you agree to that?”
“In the contract. “
“There’s a difference between legal responsibility and moral responsibility.”
Commander Justice squeezed the Sword’s shoulder. “Small packages is right. We all take risks in this business.”
The Sword stood. “This isn’t a risk. This is a mistake. A costly one.”
“Well,” said Captain Revolution. “I guess this clears me.”
The four other heroes turned to stare at Revolution. “What?” he asked. “Small Packages accused me of murder. I couldn’t have very well done this. I was with Small Packages when it happened.”
Small Packages grunted. You could’ve had an accomplice, but the Sword doesn’t buy the idea of one traitor, let alone two.
The Sword said, “Smalls, I need to be alone. I trust you can handle this.”
“Sure thing, boss.”
Small Packages, his seven foot tall twin, Skyscraper, Commander Justice, and Captain Revolution clambered down the hill.
Commander Justice said, “Small Packages, check out the uniform. Captain Revolution and I will search for evidence around the perimeter.”
Small Packages climbed down to Revelator’s uniform. He stared at the blood stain. This time, the blood had seeped from the inside of the shirt to the outside.
I tell Captain Revolution about the blood seeping the wrong way at the scene of the Defender’s disappearance, and this time it’s different. But I didn’t tell him about the blood being globed, and that problem’s still here.
Small Packages looked at the back of the uniform’s shirt. Now this was different. A spot of blood surrounded a hole in the shoulder. “Commander!”
Commander Justice ran over. “What?”
“Take a look at this tear in the fabric.”
Commander Justice picked up the uniform shirt. “There’s a definite pattern.”
“Look at the shape of the opening. Does it look like an arrowhead did it?”
Commander Justice nodded.
Small Packages ran his hand over the hole. “Who uses arrows in their arsenal?”
“Lord History and Pantheon. Payday’s been known to use a crossbow.”
Small Packages strained his neck to see Commander Justice’s eyes. “Payday’s work is not this subtle. He never cleans up after one of his killing sprees.”
Commander stroked his chin. “I doubt its Lord History. My grandmother worked with him from time to time. She’d vouch for him.”
Small Packages pursed his lips. “None of us got on this trip by being likely sus-pects.” Even if Jesse must’ve had the Sword’s helmet on too tight when he picked Payday, Revolution, and Mystic. “We need to find out which arrow made this mark.”
“How are we going to do that?”
“I have a plan.”
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