“Trial by Wits”

Of course, drunkenly yelling out their name in triumph when still in range of the cameras was not the best plan Ulysses ever concocted. Soon word was out and the Eye of the Cyclops became the most worthless perfect diamond in existence, as no fence was fool enough to touch it. Ulysses has been carrying it around for two decades now. Still has it, much to the Suits’ amusement. In fact, the only other thing our erstwhile hero has with them is a snub-nosed laser hidden in a boot, with a single shot left in it. But it isn’t Poseidon that’s hired the Suits.

You’re probably hungry for a bit more description of Ulysses about now, but I’m afraid you’ll have to remain so, as we know little more about them. Man, woman, both or neither: the records are long since lost and the only one of the crew ever to meet them in person will say nothing, save that they were black, beautiful and had a pair of cold blue eyes that couldn’t hide the things they’d seen.

Eyes that are rapidly swelling shut as the big guy lets loose another punch. You probably know him better as Heracles.

HERACLES: “I don’t get it. Why we can’t just kill war hero here and then get the code from the Acheron?”

Ariadne, the woman lurking at the back, shakes her head.

ARIADNE: “The Vault has some sort of deadlock. If Ulysses dies, it seals forever.”

ORPHEUS: “So what do we do?”

The delicate young man in the corner asks. Orpheus.

OEDIPUS: “We do what we were hired to do.”

The blind old motherfucker says with shrug. He walks up to the vault door and removes his glasses, to reveal a pair of data sockets where eyes once sat. Taking out two cables he links them to the door and, forty seconds later, the first of four locks hisses open.

Oedipus is not a bad person. As a doctor he did much good work, even developed a cure for the Sphinx, a disease that accelerated the aging process to such a degree that week-old infants would die, elderly and infirm, never learning the words to ask why. Of course, those affected were generally too poor to afford the cure, but that was hardly his fault. But now Oedipus needed to leave the City, and that cost money. The sort of money a disgraced doctor couldn’t get legitimately. Still, we all have our reasons.