|Date posted||September 22, 2012|
Weld and Miss Militia quickly take command, organising the heroes. Vista uses her power to reduce the distance Crawler's acid travels, and to widen his distance from the heroes, isolating him in a clearing. Flechette shoots him with a bolt that embeds itself in his face, however his body pushes the bolt out as he regenates, Crawler laughing while this happens. Miss Militia and Triumph take turns pushing Crawler away, and Vista further widens the distance between him and the heroes. Prism and Battery engage Mannequin, and Skitter is reminded of how Prism's power works. She creates two duplicates, and will also survive if one of the three bodies does. The two stagger their attacks so that one attacks while the other recharges their ability. As he has done during fights against Skitter, Mannequin is able to reduce the impact of any hits by going limp, and he is agile enough to maneuver into a position to cut down two of Prism's duplicates. Prism's last self is saved from Mannequin's attack when Battery intercepts his arm.
Skitter flies down close enough to Weld to ask how she can help. Weld requests that she use more explosives against Mannequin, but she explains she has no more grenades. He instead asks her to evacuate Glory Girl and Cache, both suffering badly due to Crawler's acid. Cache uses his power on himself to disappear into a different dimension, prompting Skitter to ask Weld if Glory Girl can still fly. Weld talks to Glory Girl briefly, and then shapeshifts his arms into long poles, picking up Glory Girl on the ends. Skitter urges him to wait, but when Crawler finds a chance to charge Vista and Flechette, he hurriedly catapults Glory Girl up towards Skitter. Skitter is able to get hold of Glory Girl by her hair and lower costume, areas the acid has not affected. After some shouting from Skitter, Glory Girl uses her flight to help keep the pair aloft as they make the journey to the location of the Undersiders and Amy. In flight, Skitter decides that she needs an easier way to refer to her giant beetle. Since it as based on a Hercules Beetle, she takes inspiration from the Mythological encounter of Heracles and Atlas, naming it Atlas.
Skitter lands back with the Undersiders, Glory Girl immediately collapsing on the ground upon landing. Skitter explains the situation to a terrified Amy, ordering her to fix her sister. Victoria manages to cough out "No", several times and smashes the sidewalk when Tattletale orders Amy to help her anyway. Tattletale then tells Amy to back off if Victoria is refusing, but Amy laments how Victoria is warping the new emotions Amy has given to her into hatred that is stopping her thinking straight. When Regent questions how Amy "Mind-raped" Victoria, Amy claims it was an accident. Tattletale halts the conversation to tell Victoria she is going to pour some sterile water onto her, warning her not to be be surprised. Instead of pouring any water on her, Tattletale pushes Amy forward. Amy quickly paralyses Victoria to prevent her lashing out, apologising and talking about the damage to Victoria in her panic She explains that there isn't enough tissue remaining in the body to perform all the fixes she needs. Tattletale insists that she prioritise fixing the changes to Victoria's mind but Amy demands that Tattletale stops distracting her.
As they watch Amy work, Skitter tells Tattletale that she isn't returning to the fight because the fire is making it impossible for her to help with the fighting. She offers to bring more useless bugs to Amy to provide the extra tissue for the repairs. When Regent mocks the idea of making Victoria into a bug hybrid, Skitter defends the idea by explaining the bugs would provide proteins and other things that the enzymes in the acid have eaten away, information that she had found out while considering the possibility of feeding people in her territory with bugs in the event of a food shortage. Regent mocks her again, for the idea of feeding bugs to people who aren't her enemies, although Skitter insists she would have tried them first. The conversation is interrupted when Amy asks Skitter to bring the bugs to her. Amy proceeds to break the bugs down and merge the biomass into Victoria's abdomen. After several minutes, she declares that she has done everything she can do.
Skitter observes that Victoria's body is still a scarred mess with a severe lack of body fat in several places. Tattletale again demands Amy fix Victoria's mind, but Amy claims that she needs to get Victoria food and have one more night to fix her up. Tattletale says that Amy has saved Victoria's life, but it should be her decision if she wants to accept further help from Amy. Amy refuses to listen, insisting that Victoria getting hurt and refusing her help were both caused as an effect of the emotional changes and Victoria doesn't deserve to be left in this state because of Amy's wrongs. Amy decides that she will fix Victoria as her last action before leaving her family; since she is 16, she can go and work somewhere she can do more good with her power without legal issues regarding exploitation of minors. She claims she can almost feel good about doing this. Tattletale tells Amy she is lying to herself, and she needs to fix Victoria's mind now for her own sake, so Victoria may forgive her at some point in the future. Amy continues to ignore all arguments the Undersiders pose, eventually asking why they care so much. Tattletale explains, to Skitter's surprise, that the Undersiders had been considering offering her a place on the team. Amy is displeased at this suggestion, comparing their use of Regent's power to the changes she made to Victoria and claiming they do things for selfish reasons. Tattletale's insistance that Amy's plan is selfish, because she is doing it to soothe her own guilt, is completely ignored as Amy prepares to leave with a hypnotised Glory Girl.
Amy thanks Skitter for her help saving Victoria, but warns her that Atlas and the relay bugs have no proper digestive systems and will starve to death in a week. Skitter protests that she is using them to help people, but Amy says that the Slaughterhouse Nine should be gone in a week and she doesn't know what Skitter would do with them in the future. Grue offers to help, and at Skitter's request uses his power to copy Amy's power as he touches Atlas. The sisters fly out of the top of the darkness shortly afterward. Grue explains that he isn't sure if he finished and he didn't have enough understanding of bugs, so he gave it something resembling a human digestive system. Watching the sisters fly away, Tattletale emphasises the importance of giving Atlas the correct diet, since he will die easily with the wrong food. With Sundancer having cleared a path in the flames, Grue urges Skitter to get moving. Skitter voices concerns about the situation with Amy and Glory Girl and claims there's nothing she can do to help. Regent suggests searching for Jack and Bonesaw again, and with the information Skitter provides Tattletale is able to intuit their location; one of the Endbringer shelters.
- Panacea breaks the allience and controls her sister to leave.
- Grue edits the newly named Atlas with a faux human digestive system so "he" will last longer.
- Showcase of Protectorate tactics.
- The author wrote an alternate scinario where panacea did join the undersiders.
- Information on cape work.