Tales of Heroics and Villainry, Volume 3!

April 3, 2007

Sage looked up as the Honest Man walked over to his table, a can of Mountain Dew in each hand. The slightly pudgy superhero accepted one with a grateful smile, and then went back to staring at the laptop screen laid out before him, pages of information flying by at lightning fast speed, controlled only by his mind alone.

Both members of the League of Inquisition – home to super-powered detectives from across the globe – they had joined forces for an exceptionally difficult case. After hours on the streets hadn’t yielded any leads, they had retired to the league headquarters to plan out their next step.

The Honest Man sipped his drink, giving a frown at the bitter taste. His shades fleamed in the flourescent lighting of the room, and he leaned against the wall as he watched over Sage’s shoulder. With polished black boots and an immaculate cowboy outfit – including the hat – he wasn’t the most typical of heroes.

Admittedly, for all that Sage wore a proper uniform, he was even less of a fit. His outfit was more battlesuit than garb, designed to make up for his lack of physical powers – but it didn’t hide his pale skin, receding hairline or protruding gut. But then, he wasn’t one for brawling in the street – he was the one who led the others to the guilty parties, and let them handle the dirty work. He had the gift of knowledge, and there was nothing he couldn’t learn given time.

Which was why he was disturbed. Someone had been killing heroes, and he had been on their tail for weeks – without a single drop of success.

Much like the rest of the League, and more than a few others as well.

“So tell me,” asked the Honest Man, “How did you come by your powers? Mastery of an asbtract concept like knowledge seems a little more unusual than the usual mutations.”

Sage smiled. The Honest Man always asked good questions, even if they didn’t always pertain to the topic at hand. With a sigh, he let his search continue running unmonitored while he leaned back in his chair, taking a long swallow from his soda. “The Oracle of Grim Mountain, actually. I know, I know – I don’t really look the type to survive the ordeal of scaling the mountain. Especially given I was just your average computer geek when I set out… but determination counts for a lot.”

“You’re kidding – I ran the same gauntlet.” The Honest Man smiled. “Now that’s funny.”

Sage glanced at his fellow detective. “You serious? No offense, but I get enough flack for having chosen dominion over knowledge after making it through the trials – you choose the power of honesty?”

The Honest Man laughed. “Well… not quite. It simply turn out that honesty – or at least the appearance thereof – happened to fall under the domain of deception.”

Sage didn’t hear those last words – the poison was very fast-acting. The murderer smiled, and set about manipulating the evidence so it would only show what he wanted it to show. This had been the last of the heroes who truly looked capable of seeing through the lies he wove – but still, no excuse to get sloppy.

He was, after all, a professional.

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