|Date posted||21 July 2012|
Taylor wakes up from a rough night, her injuries and worries about further attacks on the territory having kept her from sleeping for most of the night. She quickly checks the bruises on her torso and concludes that there seems to not be any internal bleeding. She takes a cold shower to help her wake up and look a little more presentable, and then walks downstairs.
Shatterbird's attack has left all methods of electronic communication destroyed, preventing Taylor from getting news of her dad or Tattletale. She is unable to check her appearance due to all mirrors having been shattered, however the terraniums on the second floor are made of hard plastic, leaving the second floor in a reasonable state. On the ground floor, the glass containers in the cupboards have shattered and dispersed their contents across the shelves. Sierra and Charlotte are present, and Taylor feels frustrated at appearing flawed to subordinates. She sends Charlotte to get news from Regent about her dad and Tattletale, and directs Sierra to fetch a propane stove to cook some rice, and then begin sorting out the cupboards. Taylor herself collects a broom and dustpan and asks Sierra how things went at the hospital.
Sierra explains that people refused to heed her warning until Battery arrived and confirmed the Slaughterhouse Nine are around, and she had to hide in her parents room when the heroine starting asking how she knew about the attack. She asks Taylor about her history with Armsmaster, having heard about Taylor's original desire to be a hero. Taylor explains that she decided she prefers to have Grue and Tattletale as her allies rather than Armsmaster, mentioning his nomination to the Nine by Mannequin. Taylor the heads upstairs to sweep up, requesting that Sierra call her down when food is available.
Taylor works on claring up the glass scattered all over the upper floors, feeling in a bad mood due to the stresses from last night and the disruption of her morning routine. She also feels unhappy that this is not a task that is contributing towards helping Dinah. Sierra calls her downstairs, but rather than for food it is because Grue has arrived at the base. Grue berates her for fighting Mannequin, citing the 55% chance Dinah gave that the Undersiders would die if they fought the Nine, but Skitter argues that she had to try when there was a chance to help the people of her territory. Grue then asks Sierra to leave, and she agrees to take a walk until Skitter signals her.
Brian explains that Danny is fine, having already been looked over and sent home. Lisa has been told to expect scarring on the cut across her cheek, and Brian is concerned that she might be in shock over it since she is surprisingly upbeat about the situation. Taylor assesses that Lisa often displays behavior close to recklessness under stressful situations, to which Brian comments that Taylor is surprisingly good at describing personal traits. He then expresses concern that Taylor is self-destructing, taking on Mannqeuin to protect people she doesn't know and getting minimal sleep. She explains that she can't stop because she made a deal with Coil that he will release Dinah if she proves her services valuable enough. Brian correctly assumes there is more to it, and Taylor explains that she and Lisa doubt Coil will keep his end of the arrangement. Her further explination is cut short however, by Sierra tapping on the origami cube to summon Skitter.
Once she has put on her costume, Skitter and Grue make their way down to the beach where Sierra is standing with three people Skitter quickly pegs as ex-ABB gang members. They ask if Skitter still requires any 'muscle', praising her for taking on Mannequin, which they see as a good enough show of strength to follow her leadership. Skitter explains that her territory is not about preying on the locals and lists the rules she is enforcing over it, which gives the two boys of the group pause although they still agree to the terms. She leads them to a warehouse that needs cleaning out and explains that she wants to have the local warehouses and factories function as living space for multiple families. This will help bring people closer together, which will make distributing supplies easier and will build more of a sense of community.
Grue believes that people will be afraid of grouping up when the Chosen and the Merchants have been attacking constantly, but Sierra suggests that the best time to move is now, when the news of the fight against Mannequin is still fresh. The new employees begin working, and Grue warns Skitter to keep an eye on them, which she affirms she had planned to do. She assigns Sierra to travel across the city to pass on a message to the boss and is approached by another group of three people who are interested in work. When she promises payment, one of them decides to bring his cousin too. Grue again voices the opinion that Skitter is moving too fast for no reason, but she explains that she cannot afford to be slow. When he questions further, she explains that if she can't perform outstandingly and get Coil to release Dinah then the only choice will be for her and Tattletale to take down Coil, which she expects they won't succeed in doing.
- Skitter gains followers and her reputation spreads
- The territory is reorganized.
- Skitter gaining followers after beating Mannequin functions roughly how a certain game would reward characters defeating opponents.
- Skitter probably saved many lives by sending sierra to the hospital.
- The terrariums being hard plastic, presumably acrylic, was mentioned in the comments of a previous chapter.