the same time that Diana went from being a super villainess to being a good guy, and put the moon in orbit.
The history is all a bit fuzzy, but either some of the gods themselves rebelled, or else some of the new humans - our own species - turned to lives of super villainy and were successful, but either way the ultimate result was that the Norse gods managed to gain ascendancy over the Greek ones, and evidently the Greek gods are the same as the Vannir in Norse mythology. Eventually they all moved to Venus in an attempt to avoid Ragnarok, but I’m fuzzy on the details, and I’m even fuzzier on whether or not any of this actually happened prior to the retconning.
Venus was pretty as a daydream, but a horrible place to live, owing to the endless warfare between the Norse pantheon and the Greek one. Ultimately, one side or another got pissed off at a lack of enthusiasm from their worshipers, and they jointly decided to simply wipe out the whole species and start over again. Fortunately, someone thought to complain to the earth embassy in Byarlthorn Njebek City, and a few heroes were sent to escort us home before the genocide started. I presume the Gumby aliens are dead now.
It was then I met Blacknight, he was one of the people sent to rescue us, and one of only two heroes I ever met who was ever even remotely heroic. Of course he and Deadpan were entirely human, so perhaps that shouldn’t be too surprising.
Someone named Beauford and I have an argument about weather or not we’re leaving Deadpan behind. I say we’re not, and the guy cold-cocks me with a lucky punch. I go down hard, and by the time I get back up, he’s broken the old man’s neck. It fixes. Beauford breaks it again, and again, and again, and again, but it won’t stay broken. All he’s doing is torturing the old man, who screams like the baby he is, and Beauford gets so freaked out by this that he just starts crying and punching the ground.
We don’t have time for this. I toy with the idea of killing Beauford, but he’s beyond horrified, and I think he’s learned his lesson. Part of it, anyway. The trick is that Deadpan has gone past his maximum age of a hundred or so, an is now aging down again to his newborn state. Since he’s getting younger, any damage he takes just instantly heals. I sighm head over, and coochie-choochie-coo the former swordmaster until he calms down, and starts giggling, and then I carefully pick up Beauford, who fully expects me to kill him. And maybe I do too.
But I don’t. I look him in the eye, and I say “We are human beings. That used to count for something. We can’t kill Deadpan, I don’t think it’s possible for him to die anymore, and we will not leave him alone, lost, confused, frightened, all by himself, ok? You don’t just abandon a baby, no matter the cost. We will not do it. We paid too much in blood to get him back, and it would cost even more to leave him behind. We still have our humanity, that’s all we have left, and if taking care of that thing that Deadpan’s become is the price of maintaining it, we’ll do it, ok? And if we die because of it, we die as men and women, not as savages. Do you understand me?”
He nods, and wipes at his bleary eyes, says he understands, but I know he doesn’t. Hell, he probably didn’t know half the words I used just then. But whatever, crisis averted.
I go back to tearing a few pages out of some of the books I took from the comic shop, and scribbling a few things down. When I’ve got what I need, I carefully burn the books and chuck ‘em down the storm drain. I explain my plan to Ivan and Homer, relying on Homer to remember it and explain it to Ivan as the need arises, and then I give them most of the items out of Blacknight’s utility belt. I keep the belt for myself, though, and one or two other things. I tell them to go on and do it, and they hesitate, then, awkwardly the two of them hug me, and suddenly I’m blubbering. I go over to Deadpan, who’s