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30. Split

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Steve sidled up next to Davy as they made their way out of the building. “So, you made a new friend while I was gone,” he tried to say casually. “That’s cool. Totally cool.”

Davy could sense Steve’s growing neuroticism. “Lady Gut Possum said I’d have three companions who would help me gather these artifacts,” he replied. “You’re one of them. And I think Olivia is another.”

This didn’t seem to placate Steve much. “Olivia?” he said. “So you’re on a first name basis with the Night Retcher then? That’s cool. She’s a kick-ass superhero and all.”

“Hey, you can hold your own, buddy,” Davy retorted, aware that Steve needed some reassurance. “You’ve got an Ember Sack of Unrelenting Sorrow, remember?”

Steve’s eyes went wide at Davy’s comment. “The sack!” he shouted. “I don’t have it! It must have been taken from me when I got captured.”

Davy was struck with a surge of panic. Did they already lose their first artifact? He took a deep breath and tried to collect himself. “No problem,” he said. “If Mother Martyr took it, maybe we’ll find it again once we stop her.”

Davy’s words seemed to calm Steve, even if Davy didn’t completely believe them himself. “Okay,” Steve said. “You’re right. Let’s stop Mother Butthead or whatever, then we can get the sack back.”

The four of them finally approached the main entrance to the theater. Vulcan held the front door open as the other three ran outside. Now on the street, the four of them looked up at the steel plant in front of them. There was definitely some strange structure that was protruding through the roof of the steel plant. It still looked like some kind of towering antennae, but it was even more imposing up close. It was made of metal that reflected strangely in the moonlight. Davy noticed black storm clouds circling the structure. There was a low rumble of thunder that seemed to be building.

“It appears that Mother Martyr intends to use this unusual device to conjure up a storm,” Vulcan said. “One presumably powerful enough to flood Heaven’s Head.”

“Flooding an entire city?” Olivia replied. “As far as evil plans go, that sounds like a solid nine out of ten on the evil scale.”

“What would push her plan to a ten out of ten?” Davy asked.

Olivia shrugged. “I don’t know,” she answered. “Maybe that antennae thing is made out of non-renewable resources.”

Vulcan tried to get everyone back on track. “Come,” he said. “We must keep moving.”

They came to the front door of the plant. Surprisingly, the door was unlocked. “Heh,” Steve said as they went through the door. “If you’re in the middle of perpetrating a doomsday event, I guess you’re probably not too worried about whether your front door is locked.”

They found themselves in a reception room. They walked past the front desk into a short hallway. Ahead, Davy could see the main floor of the plant. The base of the antennae was vaguely visible. To the left, there was a stairwell that most likely went up to the roof. Davy looked to Olivia, who seemed to be thinking the same thing as him.

“Okay,” Olivia began. “There’s got to be a way to shut this doodad down. There’s probably a control panel on this thing. But we don’t know where it is. Part of this contraption is sticking out of the roof…”

“Yes, and part of it is inside the building,” Vulcan added.

Steve sighed. “We’re going to have to split up, aren’t we? That’s so contrived.”

“Unfortunately, that seems to be the case,” Vulcan replied. He looked at Davy and Olivia. “I suggest the two of you take the stairs to the roof. Knowing Mother Martyr, she would most likely prefer to be outside in order to witness her plan come to fruition. Olivia, you may be the best equipped of us to deal with her.”

Olivia gave Vulcan a salute. “Aye aye, captain,” she chirped.

Vulcan took a step towards the main floor. “Stephen and I will search the room up ahead for a means to shut off the device,” he continued. “We can reconvene in the reception area once the device is shut down.”

Davy nodded in understanding. The stakes in his weird quest had risen higher than he had anticipated. As the group began to split up, Davy wondered to himself if he really had what it took to do what was expected of him.


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