by Stewart C Baker
Captain Invincible’s downfall was he read too much.
Never saw the son-of-a-bitch without a book in his hands. Trash lit, usually—not even worthy of the name ‘Popcorn’.
Problem was, the Captain got a little too into them. I remember our last crisis, when The Tippler was threatening the water supply of the whole goddamn tri-state area.
All Captain I. wanted to do was finish The Torrid Stallion. He devoured it as I flew us to the Tippler’s HQ, gushed about it as we landed, kept trying to sneak glances during the firefights.
I’ll never be able to wipe those last minutes out of my mind—the Captain’s eyes watering up, his skin-tight suit torn from the gunfire, his final words an explosion of gore as he passed me the paperback: “Does Mary . . . forgive him at the end?”
May heaven forgive me for leaving him there without an answer.
This story first appeared in the January 2011 edition of Antipodean SF.
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