Evil Editor's unpaid assistant had been reading slush sixteen hours a day, seven days a week, ever since college had let out for Christmas vacation. "I want to go home," she said. "It's Sunday, it's New Year's Eve, and it's freezing in here."
"I told you before," Evil Editor told her again, "if you get cold, shovel some manuscripts into the furnace. Heating fuel is expensive. Manuscripts are a dime a dozen. And not my dime."
"But I worked Christmas. And I have a date. Have a heart, Master.""All right, already," EE told her. "Anything's better than listening to your whining. Be back by five A.M., or you can forget about that job recommendation."
Five minutes passed. There came a knock on the door. "Now who could that be at eleven o'clock New Year's Eve?" Evil Editor grumbled.
Before he reached it, though, the door burst open. Evil Editor fell back against the wall. “Hey! You can’t just barge in here!”
Menacing faces turned towards him. “We just did.”
“Silence!” An imposing man at the front, his face hidden by a hooded cloak, raised an imperious hand. “We’ve heard quite enough out of you.”
“But I’ve hardly said anything.”
Derisive laughter followed this comment. “You’ve said plenty.” The cloaked man held something towards Evil Editor. “You’ve encouraged them to make fun of us.”
“What’s—” Evil Editor took the thing. The book. Novel Deviations.
“You think it’s easy for us?” A short man with a very high voice stepped forward. He wore an amazing ensemble of black leather and chains, and carried a mace. “We just want to live our lives, same as everyone else.”
The air in the room suddenly seemed very warm and still. Evil Editor licked his lips. “You’re a--”
The man nodded. “A brutal eunuch,” he squeaked. “Over there is my friend Drakkar, the vigilante sorcerer. That’s Bob the vampire…Ed, Nancy, and Julie the zombies… and that’s—”
“Prince Namor!” Evil Editor breathed. “The Sub-Mariner! Please help me, you can’t let them hurt me, you’re a Marvel hero!”
Namor examined his fingernails coolly. “Haven’t you been reading Civil War? I’ve cut my diplomatic ties with those dullards.”
“No, please…” Evil Editor sobbed, falling to his knees. “Please, take me to Atlantis with you, I’ll be good, I can help the fish improve their queries…”
Namor turned away. “Get him, boys.”
Continuation by December Quinn