Wing How finished telling his story to Linda Travis, the niece of his one-time employer and crime-fighting partner.
“All of the newspapers in town had a field day with the revelation that D.A. Shapiro was actually an underground crime boss. Judge Cramer relented and let Lee out of jail, and Scarapelli’s case was slated to come to trial in two month’s time, with no bail allowed for him. Lee’s informant went to work for the paper later that year. And I became the Crimson Avenger’s costumed partner in adventure.”
“And now he’s gone, and you’re back, though I have to say there are some real changes.”
“Yes, well, being the plaything of a godlike being in his own world can have strange effects on you.” Wing flexed his arms and beat on his chest with a comical Tarzan yell. “I know there were a lot of people who didn’t take Wing, the crime-fighter, very seriously.”
“What about now? Are you going back to fighting crime?” Linda got up and opened the door into her apartment. Wing got up to follow her inside, carrying the wine bottle and glasses.
“Well, the other members of the Law’s Legionnaires are getting back in action, so I figure I might as well do the same. I understand that, when Lee died, there didn’t seem to be many people who remembered the Crimson Avenger. I owe it to him to make that a name that people remember and respect again.”
“I think he would like that.” Linda picked up a picture of herself, her father, and her uncle, taken shortly after his return from his trip in time. “It was strange, really, when he reappeared, still in his thirties while dad was in his fifties. He was really struck by that, like he felt that the time he had left might be all that much shorter because of the paradoxes of time travel. He gave Dad and I his blessing in running the paper and took off to see the world. It wasn’t too long after that when he got sick, I guess.”
“Didn’t he tell you?”
“No. The last I knew he was in Thailand, then a month later the police told us that his body was found in the harbor after that boat exploded. As far as I know, that was the first time he had worn the costume since he came back.”
“That’s what Sylvester told me, too.” Wing sighed. “Well, regardless, people will know about the Avenger now. Look, I guess I’d better get going now, but I have something for you before I leave.”
Linda cocked her head to the side. “For me?”
“Yes. I remembered all those nights when you came to my room, when you finished your reading, you always wanted to look at my globe.”
“Yes! You had that ivory globe, with all the layers carved inside of it!”
“An infinity sphere — that’s the closest translation for its real name.” Wing reached into the bag he had brought and pulled out a small box. “All of my own belongings are long gone, of course, but I found this in San Francisco, and I wanted you to have it.”
Linda opened the box and pulled out a white ball about four inches in diameter. It was carved with intricate designs, and through the carved areas she could see another sphere within, then another within that, and they seemed to go on forever. “Oh, Wing, it’s wonderful!” She looked up at him. “But you aren’t going to believe this!”
Holding firmly onto the sphere, Linda walked quickly to her bedroom. When she returned, she held a similar globe in her other hand, which she gave to her old friend.
“Linda, is this–? Oh, my, it is!” Wing’s face broke into a wide grin. “How did you wind up with this?”
“When you and Uncle Lee disappeared, Dad kept Lee’s penthouse up for several years. When everyone finally conceded that you would not be coming back, he asked if there was anything I wanted to remember Uncle Lee by. There were a few things, which I still have, but I also kept this to remember you by.”
Wing held the sphere up to the light, looking at the familiar shapes. “Yes, with the third sphere broken. Like myself, my first life before I came to America, my second life with Lee, then a break.” He handed the globe back to Linda and smiled. “And an infinity of experiences ahead of me.”
“Then take this with you to remind you of that. I’ll keep this one as the gift you brought me, and when we each gaze into our own spheres, we can think of each other.”
Lee bent down to kiss the woman who had once been like a little sister to him, then turned to leave. As he left the building and walked through New York City, he was smiling.
And when he returned to California the following day, he let all of Roy Harper’s questions go unanswered, at least for a while.