|Date posted||31 July 2012|
Interlude 13.5 (Donation Bonus)
Arriving at Grue's headquarters, the group find that Imp is not present, despite Grue not having given her any task to do. Skitter explains that she is surveying the area with her bugs but is also setting up silk lines, since Mannequin can see and avoid the bugs. Grue declares that once they have finishes checking his territory they will stop at Bitch's so she can tend to her dogs and then move down to Skitter's. Bitch only speaks to say that she doesn't really care, and refuses to look at Skitter. At Skitter's request, Grue attempts to confront her on her lack of communication, however Bitch continues to refuse to provide any information about what is irritating her.
As they set out on the dogs, Skitter receives a phone call from Tattletale. One of Tattletale's scouts has just passed on word that Panacea has been spotted in one of the shelters in Ballistic's territory, a long distance from the residences of New Wave. Rather than being there to heal people, she has apparently been trying to avoid attention. Skitter is reluctant to talk to her personally because of Panacea's past animosity with her, but Tattletale convinces her that there isn't a better choice among their alliance. Bitch is frustrated at the diversion, but Grue and Skitter halt her protests when they explain that any information about the candidates of the Nine could help her.
Skitter locates Panacea when Panacea begins to scramble her bugs like she did at the bank robbery. Skitter counteracts these efforts by killing the modified bugs with other bugs before they can cause the same scale of problems as before. They find Panacea waiting in an alley and Skitter notes that she looks as devastated as her family members did during the Leviathan fight. Accepting that she can't fight back or run if the Undersiders attack her, Panacea deems that if Skitter wants to talk then she isn't is a position to do anything about it. Skitter sends Grue and Bitch to stand some distance away to reduce the chance of startling Panacea. She then questions why Panacea is in a shelter, but Amy rejects the use of her cape name and asks why it is Skitter's business.
Skitter explains the game that the Nine have just started and the importance of the Brockton Bay capes trying to save the candidates. Knowing that there is a second hero among the candidates and her currently living in a shelter has drawn the Undersiders' attention to Amy. Amy has no interest in participating and says she will hide, and when informed that Cherish's abilities will prevent this decides that she will follow on with her current plan to leave the city. Skitter explains that Bonesaw has prepared her biological weapon specifically to incentivise the two hero candidates to not leave. Amy indicates disagreement with her branding as a hero but reluctantly reveals that she was indeed nominated, by Bonesaw. Skitter is confused as to why Bonesaw would think Amy is the kind of person to join the Nine, but Amy dismisses the idea that she is a nice person, mentioning her status as the d/ughter of a villain and her treatment of Skitter at the hospital. Amy talks about how much trouble her actions caused her family afterwards, and says that she hated the burden of visiting hospitals to heal people. Skitter's attempts at giving her forgiveness and excuses for her actions are ignored by Amy, who claims that recent actions of hers have proven Bonesaw was right and comments on the way both her and Skitter have presented themselves as heroes but both ended up as villains. Skitter argues that doing the right this is hard, but Amy still has the chance to if she helps fight against the Nine and explains that Amy won't have to interact with Tattletale since the Undersiders-Travelers alliance is operating in two groups. At that moment, she is grabbed around the neck and hauled into the air.
Mannequin descends to the ground, acting as a counterweight to pull Skitter up. She is left hanging about six stories in the air, while Mannequin reassembles himself and approaches Amy. Skitter signals Grue and Bitch with bugs, but Mannequin makes his presence obvious by stabbing Amy through the hand, causing her to scream in pain. As the four dogs charge Mannequin, Skitter realises that his arms are larger than before but is unable to give a warning in time due to being choked by the hang holding her. Mannequin fires a shotgun from his arm, once at Bitch and Bentley and then at Grue and Sirius. Meanwhile, Skitter attempts to use her knife to loosen the grip of the hand on her. Lucy attacks Mannequin, catching the chain that holds Skitter and hauling Skitter up further to the metal loop the chain is wound through, giving Skitter a hold to use while she hacks at the hand. Lucy manages to get on top of Mannequin, but he fires two shotgun blasts into her chest and she goes still. Mannequin cuts the threads Skitter had attempted to wind around his body and reclaims the hand holding her in the air, leaving her hanging from the metal loop. He stares at Skitter and then points a finger at her before stabbing a knife between Bentley's eyes and leaving, giving Skitter one last look.
With some difficulty, Skitter manages to pull herself up enough to get her leg over the top of the roof and climb up. She runs down through the building and back to the alley, where Grue is removing the knife from Amy's hand. Amy hysterically accuses the Undersiders of leading Mannequin to her and complains that her power doesn't work on herself. Despite Grue telling her not to panic, she runs away and none of the Undersiders are in good condition to chase. Bitch kneels by Lucy and states that she is dead. Skitter vows revenge for the murder, and Grue hands the other two the knifes which have the time of Mannequin's test inscribed on them; 10pm the following day. Skitter questions why Mannequin left her alive when he could easily have killed her, but realises that Mannequin has disappeared to go attack the people in her territory.
- Pancea's attempt at banter lead to a large amount of speculation among readers about who was meant to be which horsemen. It was confirmed sometime later.
|Chapters||13.1 • 13.2 • 13.x • 13.3 • 13.4 • 13.5 • 13.6 • 13.7 • 13.8 • 13.9 • 13.10 • 13.y|
|Battles and Events||The Undersiders & Travelers vs The Slaughterhouse Nine|