Mistakes

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"Mistakes" was first published in Astro City (2013) #3.

Synopsis[edit]

In Paris, Marella watches news of the bloody conflict in Quevachi, a conflict that has now been joined by Honor Guard and E.A.G.L.E. troops. Crushed by guilt, she flees from her co-workers, unwilling to bear their sympathy, and runs for the nearest teleport door back home. Over time, she gathers information about the whole affair, but what she learns does little to assuage her guilt. The whole thing was kicked off by the social workers she sent; the abusive boyfriend had turned out to be a Skullcrusher and he killed them, and it all escalated from there. Furthermore, her research reveals that there were enough clues that an operator like her could have realized the Skullcrusher presence beforehand.

Driven by her guilt, Marella teleports to Quevachi and joins ongoing disaster relief. By now, the Skullcrushers are mostly defeated, but they've hunkered down in their HQ under prolonged siege. Marella lives in tents with other aid workers, only periodically teleporting back home to obtain emergency supplies for the needy. She also dedicates herself to finding out what happened to the little girl who phoned her, Esme, whose unknown fate haunts her. So when a foreign man is brought into the camp for medical treatment, a man she deduces is actually a Skullcrusher from clues, she thinks he might be the key to more information. Tailing him when he covertly leaves the camp, she discovers a secret entrance to the criminals' base. Esme and her mother, Maria, are inside, captives of an ex-boyfriend unwilling to let go, but Marella is soon caught herself.

She's about to be executed when Honor Guard teleports into the facility, giving the three women opportunity to escape. Marella, who hasn't spoken to the Call Center since she headed off to Ecuador, assumes she's as good as fired. However, Cleopatra arrives to explain the situation. Honor Guard had been keeping track of her, curious as to what she was up to. It was her ID badge being inside the base that allowed team member the Assemblyman to create a portal through the place's shields. Also, they want her to keep her job. As Cleopatra explains, it's employees who work to fix their mistakes, not collapse in guilt over them or just shrug them off, that are the keepers.

As dawn approaches, Marella, Esme, and Maria walk hand-in-hand into a brighter tomorrow...

Notes[edit]

  • Based on the dialogue, it would appear Samaritan has succeeded the Black Rapier as Honor Guard leader.
  • While this issue is our first introduction to this Assemblyman, we've previously seen a villain who went by that name. The two might or not be connected, though they do both seem to be tech geniuses.
  • On the wall of Marella's sister's room, we can see a poster of the Crimson Cougar. He was a soap opera character played by Mitch Goodman, whose rise to fame in the role was the plot of a previous issue.