"`Yeah,' I added, `and we were awfully lucky to all get on board before we took off so fast. Almost like some of us were meant to get left behind? Trying to lighten the load, or keep from having to split the loot so many ways?' Some of the crooks were starting to take off their Skyman helmets, so I didn't have much time to remain anonymous.
"`Someone said they heard sirens,' the lead crook explained. `Don't go trying to pin anything on me. I've been –`
"'Look out, he's going for his gun!' I shouted, as I lunged at the lead crook and slugged him hard in the jaw. The blow sent him reeling, and when he hit his head on the cabin wall he went down. Of
course, he hadn't done anything like going for his gun, but no one had been watching him closely when I said that.
"`He took out Joe!' one of them exclaimed. `What's the deal?'
"'Hey…who is he, anyway?' One of them had finally pieced together that there was one too many crooks on the plane! But it was too late.
"I'd narrowed the odds to three against one, and as my fists started flying I knew none of them had the martial training or stamina to stand against me. I stunned the first one with a kidney punch, then
leaned on him as he doubled over so I could do a high kick to the second one. The third one went for his revolver, but I picked up the first one at the waist and threw him into the third one. He had to
drop his gun to catch his balance. The second one came at me with a fire axe, but I ducked back as he swung it at me, caught his arm while he was on the back swing, and sucker punched him in the face.
He dropped the axe and nursed his broken nose in his hands.
"The boys in the cockpit shouted back, `What's going on out there?'
"'He must be the real Skyman!' the one I'd kidney punched shouted as he recovered. `Take us down so we can scram out of here!'
"A one-two punch combination folded over the third one, and then I had only the first one to worry about again. He charged me, trying to overbear me to the cabin floor. But I raised my fists over his
head and clubbed him on the back of the neck. He went down too.
"There was some commotion going on in the cockpit, and the co-pilot emerged with a pistol in hand. While he was drawing a bead on me, I dived onto the floor, scooped up one of the dropped weapons, and fired a shot into the co-pilot's hand. He screamed and dropped his weapon so he could grab his bloody wound. I had one crook left to deal with, and he was still in the pilot's seat. As I approached the cockpit, I could feel the plane diving downwards. I slid to the cockpit door and looked in. The remaining crook had a wild look in his eyes, like he'd completely lost it. `Don't come any closer, Skyman!' he cried. `I'll crash us and kill us all if you do!'
"Not wasting any time on conversation, I grabbed him, yanked him out of the pilot's seat, and cold-cocked him on the back of the head with the pistol I was still holding. When he fell to the floor, I took the controls, and fought to regain control of our descent. It was a close call because our altitude had still been so low, but I pulled us out of the dive with only a second to spare.
"Coming around to the airport, I could see that, this time, the police really were there. I decided we needed a detour first, and I took us out to where my own plane was stashed. I called back to
Dawn, `Don't worry, miss! I am the Skyman, and I'll have you back on the ground in no time.' After landing, I bound up all the crooks and blindfolded them. I went over to my plane and did a quick change into my real uniform. Then I moved everyone over to my plane, and took off Dawn's blindfold and gag. `There you go!' I said, as I undid the rope binding her wrists. `You'll be good as new as soon as the circulation comes back to your hands.'
"'Thank you, Skyman,' she said, `but how did you know about the robbery?'
"Luckily, I'd had awhile on the plane to think up a good story. `I'd heard that Skyman was spotted at the airport,' I told her, `and I knew it wasn't me, so I naturally assumed that something suspicious was going on.'
"Dawn recovered quickly from her ordeal and told me about the costume party, and why she was in a Skyman costume. I listened and tried not to smirk as we returned to where we had started. I landed on a runway that was quickly surrounded by police cars. I tossed the crooks outside, and lowered the ramp so Dawn could step down safely. She would tell the police where I would deposit the crooks' plane for them. So, I had to switch planes again, and still had to get back to the party and explain where I'd gone off to! And that, gentlemen, was one of the busiest days I've had yet as Skyman."
Captain Marvel tapped his gavel and said, "Before we end this meeting of the Justice Society of America, we need to settle on a time and place for our next meeting. But before we do that, I'm afraid we need to ask our guest to leave."
Scotty Thunder knew who that was. He stood up and faced the assembled heroes. "Thank you, all, for letting me sit with you this afternoon. I thought you men were role models for courage and valor
before based solely on what I'd read, but that was nothing compared to what I've learned from hearing your own stories from each of you. I'll strive to follow your example, and do everything I can to be accepted amongst you again someday."
Scotty saw some of the assembled heroes smile or nod, but he was too embarrassed now to look any of them in the eye. He walked out on the Justice Society of America, but vowed to himself, as he had done before them, that he would be back someday.