The Double Cross, Part Three

Continued from Part Two

Perched on a baseball-sized sulfurous rock, Small Packages kicked at pebbles the same size as his feet. “Is this going to take much longer?”

Data Bank said, “Hold your horses. I’ve got thirty pieces of cloth to compare. Why did you do so many?”

“We figured an arrow made the hole in Revelator’s jacket, and we wanted to compare every arrow that could’ve been fired against the pattern that hit Revelator in the back.”

“The only heroes that use a bow and arrow are Lord History and Pantheon.”

“You forgot Payday’s crossbow.”

“That’s still only three.”

“Yeah, but Lord History could call up any arrow from any historical period. So, we kept having him fire arrows until he couldn’t think of any more.”

“How did you sell him that ‘Comman-der Justice’s secret plan’ requires firing off every arrow known to man?”

“If he was suspicious, he didn’t show it. He was incredibly polite. There’s no way he’s got anything to do with this. We’re just covering all the required bases.”

“That’s what the Sword would’ve said about Dark Mystic.”

“You can’t get suspicious of every-body.”

Data Bank looked up. “Seems to be smarter than trusting everyone.”

“Come on. Dark Mystic got his pow-ers from Satan. Lord History got his powers in a freak laboratory accident.”

“Did you know where Dark Mystic’s powers come from?”

“Never read his comic.”

“What about mine?”


“Do you read anyone’s?”

Small Packages sighed. “Only proof copies of my own, and that was to keep the writers in line. They’ve tried to write a Salvadorian cousin into the series five times. It’s like, ‘Hello, I’m Irish.’”

“Then what do you read?”

“Police reports.”

“Oh, come on. You must read some-thing for fun.”

“Why are you so curious?”

“In my brain, I keep files on everyone I meet, and I want to fill that file up with as much information as possible.”

“If you must know, I read the classics. Poe, Shakespeare, a little Dostoyevsky.”

Data Bank laughed.

Small Packages sighed. “See, this is why I didn’t want to tell you.”

“I just never imagined you as-”

“As what? The reading type? What did you expect? Detective novels and comic books? Maybe some short stories?” He got so many short jokes it wasn’t even funny.

“Well-um-kinda.” Databank stared up at the sky. “Okay, sorry. I guess I should hold pre-conceived notions loosely.”

Small Packages shrugged. “Just hurry up with the results.”

“I multi-task. The good news is we can rule out Pay Day. There’s no way his crossbow bolts made the hole in Revelator’s costume. Most of Lord History’s arrows also bear no resemblance to the arrows found in the costume.”

Data Bank held up a swatch of fabric. “This one from the Bow of Ares fired by Pantheon appears to be almost an identical match. The runner-up would be Lord History’s Ancient Greek arrow.”

“My money’s on that arrow coming from Pantheon.”


“Lord History’s arrows rarely hit the bulls eye. When Pantheon fired, the arrow went straight in the kisser. After I pulled the fabric sample, I had her fire two more ar-rows. They were all on target.”

Commander Justice approached.

Small Packages saluted. “Good news, chief. We eliminated Payday, and we’re pretty sure Lord History wasn’t involved.”

“I can rule him out entirely. History’s disappeared.”

Continued next Monday

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