Brockton Bay is finally starting to return to something a little like normal, and Arcadia High School is reopened for all students. Charlotte attends, but she finds that Greg is desperately looking for Taylor Hebert, and alerts her boss. Taylor goes to the school to intervene, and finds that Greg has figured out her identity. She convinces him that she is not Skitter, and then attempts to leave.
On her way out, she encounters Emma Barnes, and they clash. It starts verbal, but Emma eventually grabs Taylor, and a guard intervenes and escorts them to the principal's office. Emma is reprimanded and the incident is recorded in the computer system. The report includes Taylor's name, which alerts the heroes to her location. The school is put in lockdown before she can leave.
Unidentified for the moment, Taylor heads to the lunchroom with the other kids. Clockblocker and Kid Win are students at the school, and change into their costumes; and Adamant and Sere are already present. Knowing that she will be caught if she tries to run, Taylor creates swarm decoys which attack the heroes and attempt to "flee". She disables Sere and disarms Kid Win, then tries to leave out the back of the cafeteria, but Dragon and Defiant arrive to intercept her. The heroes are cautious, and don't attempt to capture Skitter right away. She wreaths herself in her intimidating Skitter persona as she talks with Dragon and Defiant, threatening violence and revelation of PRT secrets. Dragon calls her bluff, and Defiant apologizes for how he treated her as Armsmaster. Skitter asserts that revealing her identity is uncharacteristic of them, and it is revealed that Dinah had helped them with the plan, predicting that this would be the best way to capture her. Feeling betrayed, Skitter devises a plan to escape. She draws on the comradery between those who stayed Brockton Bay and her reputation as a relatively benevolent overlord to convince the students to help her. Many of them swarm the heroes, and she leaves the school in a crowd of people which the heroes are afraid of hurting. Unbeknownst to Skitter, Dragon convinces Defiant to take a new step in disabling her restrictions, which damages her ability to speak but also allows her to disobey orders and let the supervillain escape.
Skitter's public identity is revealed, which marks another escalation of the conflict between the Undersiders and the PRT.
A recording of the discussion between Dragon, Defiant, and Taylor was made and disseminated through news media, raising the Bay's public profile again.
Defiant make strides in freeing Dragon from her restrictions, though his efforts damage her in such a way that she loses her ability to talk for a time.
|Chapters||20.1 • 20.2 • 20.3 • 20.4 • 20.5 • 20.x • 20.y|
|Battles and Events||Incident at Arcadia High|