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Previously in Heaven Bent: When Stag comes under attack by a monstrous Great White Shark/Tyrannosaurus Rex creature in the Bestiary, Byzantine leaps in to save his life. Meanwhile, all-out civil war erupts in Heaven's central domes. Byzantine swears he'll make Stag pay for luring him away from the action--but Thundercloud and M.J. soar to the rescue. As Byzantine battles the flying platypus and King of Pop, Stag and Lillian escape into the jungle, heading for the enigmatic silver spire. Only Stag can see it, at least until the misty entities show up and adjust Lillian's sight. Once inside the spire, Stag finds himself face to face with A.E., the movie star who accuses Stag of a mysterious connection to his death. Just as A.E. says he'll give his killer a taste of his own medicine, syringes loaded with poison flash out of the darkness, headed straight for Stag...

As the twelve huge syringes jumped toward me, I scrambled back away from them--until strong hands grabbed my upper arms and held me fast.

It was A.E. "Take your medicine, Stag!" His voice echoed through the spire. "Take it!"

The syringes stopped six inches away, their glistening tips pointing at my head and chest and arms. The black skull and crossbones symbols on the syringes' glass vials came to life, laughing gleefully as sickly green liquid bubbled away inside.

"I'll bet you never thought it would come to this, did you?" said A.E. "You never imagined you'd bite it like I did."

"Let me go." I struggled to break free of his iron grip. "Please just let me go, man."

"The hell I will!" A.E.'s voice swelled with rage. "You could've saved me, 'man.' You could've saved me, and you didn't."

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