"This is never going to work," said Bones, his voice muffled by the beard.
"Not with that sort of attitude it won't," replied the Skull as he took a glass from a passing air hostess. He struggled for a moment with the fake moustache gripping his face before the glass reached his lips.
The pair sat in the seats closest to the door, heavy bags stuffed under their seats. The Skull had tried to find a plane with as few witnesses as possible, but the only one with the correct flight path was a 747, stuffed with tourists on their way to Sydney. Eventually he'd settled on using the disguises.
Bones took off his Aviators and pressed his nose to the window. "I think I see it. Yeah, that's got to be it."
The plane was rounding a jagged mountain as the Skull leaned to peer through the glass. Below, a vast red plain came into view, broken only in the centre by a long, curved lake. At its southern-most point lay the grubby speck of a settlement.
"Boomerang Lake," said the Skull, tearing the moustache from his face before tugging a pack from beneath his feet. "Got your parachute?"
"Yes," replied Bones, sighing wearily as he followed the Skull to his feet.
There was a loud crack and the remaining passengers looked up in shock as their loose belongings were sucked into the air. A wind howled through the aeroplane and the door slammed open.
"I'm tremendously sorry about all of this," said Bones with a wave, before he jumped out of the plane.
Kevin Carpenter had lived in Boomerang for over 60 years. He'd seen a lot of things happen in this place. But he hadn't seen anything like this.
Two men – no, a man and a boy – fell from above. At the last moment, a parachute bloomed from each of them, two ghastly skulls painted on the blue sky. There was a plume of scarlet dust as they hit the ground only meters from Carpenter's (purely decorative) letter box.
"You were right. That was a terrible idea," groaned the Skull. "Bones?"
The ground shifted and Bones erupted from the red soil. "That was awesome. Can we do it again on the way back?"
The Skull staggered to his feet and brushed the dust from his clothing. "Let's just see if anyone in this town knows anything about the Kid."
"Can I help you fellas?" called Carpenter from his verandah.
The Skull looked up at the old man rocking back and forth in front of the simple house. It took him a few seconds to realise he wasn't rocking in a chair, but was perched in an interlocking mess of enormous boomerangs. The four longest were easily over six feet, with dozens of others slotted between them. Apparently relaxed, the man hung in the centre of the nest.
"Name's Carpenter," he said. "I reckon there ain't much business in Boomerang for you, mate."
"My name's Don. And, uh, so is his," said the Skull, gesturing to Bones. "We're looking for Rick Bishop."
The old man leaned back in his boomerang chair.
"Also known as Boomerang Kid."
Carpenter got to his feet with a snarl. "Couple of yanks falling out of the sky, askin' about silly names? Yer sound like a bunch of right trouble-makers to me, mate."
The mass of wood had lifted from the ground as Carpenter stood, and the Skull realised that each boomerang's end led to the man's back. They began to swivel, separating from each other and jutting into the air. Soon, they were circling Carpenter's frame, sprouting from his back like the legs of some wooden spider. The longest boomerangs were slung from each side of his hips.
"Skull," said Bones. "He has an awful lot of boomerangs, Skull."
The planks of the porch creaked as Carpenter rose into the air, his weight supported on the huge weapons at his waist. One at a time they began to rise and fall, sending Carpenter into a swaying elevated stride. The other boomerangs arched backwards tensely.
"I knew I would hate this country," muttered the Skull as he shoved Bones to the ground.
The Skull had only just planted his own face into the dust when he felt the storm of boomerangs skim above him. The wind sent waves of dust scattering into space as the boomerangs swooped backwards and arranged themselves neatly on Carpenter's back again.
More men ran towards the scene from the town, heavy boomerangs protruding from backpacks and held tight in gloved hands. At least half a dozen heavy chunks of wood sailed towards the Skull and Bones.
Bones launched himself upwards, going airborne before his feet had even touched the ground. He planted a foot on one flying boomerang, tumbling forward before catching his other foot on another. The boomerangs dipped and swerved under his weight as he made his way across the spinning stepping stones, reaching the stunned throwers in seconds.
Bones' boot snapped a jaw out of place as the Skull shattered Carpenter's boomerangs out of the sky. Each one splintered into nothing as he slammed his knuckles expertly into their fragile sides, but blood flew increasingly heavily from his fists.
The Skull was battling his way through the swarm of weapons, and Bones had dropped a third man into the ruby dust when a woman's voice yelled from further up the dirt road.
"Stop, you bloody idiots!"
Carpenter swivelled on his stilts and pointed at the Skull. "These tossers were asking about Rick, Martha. It's bloody them!"
"No, it ain't," said Martha, running to the Skull's side. "You're them types he was always goin' on about, aren't you? Superheroes."
She turned to the assembled crowd, some panting, others still moaning in the dirt.
"It wasn't men like this who killed my son."