Emboldened by his victory against the first shadow creature, Argyle steps back out into the hallway and addresses the two remaining creatures. He declares in no uncertain terms his intention to manhandle the both of them and tie them in knots. The creatures are both shaken, and they hesitate for a moment, uncertain how to handle someone that’s not afraid of them. A moment is all Argyle needs, as he grabs one of the creatures and slams it bodily into the other one. The creature disintegrates in his hands. He grins as he turns to the last one. It begins to rally, but it’s too little, too late as he reaches out, grabs it by the throat, and slams it against the wall.
Puck is shaken, and is unable to snap out of it. Herr Reisen launches himself at Puck and grabs him by the throat, slams him up against the wall, and he sinks the fingers of his other hand into Puck’s skull.
Argyle, Mason, and Wyoming all hear a scream of absolute rage reverberate through the entire compound. The ground and walls all begin to shake. They all run towards the sound. Mason turns a corner and nearly runs into Wyoming. She notices that he seems less robotic. Argyle catches up a minute later. They try to figure out where they are. Argyle asks where Puck is, and they start yelling for him. The ground shakes again. They continue moving in the direction from which they heard the scream. There are twists and turns in the corridor, and various side passages on either side. Wyoming makes her best guess at the right direction, and soon they burst into the lab, to see Reisen slamming Puck up against the wall.
Wyoming yells at Reisen to let Puck go. Argyle and Mason each grab an arm, but they are unable to move Reisen.
All of a sudden, all three of them feel a stabbing pain in their heads. Argyle and Wyoming figure out that someone or something is attempting to rifle through their minds, and they are quick to block it out. Mason however, sees a flurry of images flash past his consciousness, of Castle Refuge and the Tomorrow Legion.
Argyle and Mason attempt to continue to fight Reisen. Argyle is unable to do any appreciable damage, but Mason is able to actually get Reisen to stumble for a moment, but it’s already too late. Reisen turns to face all of them and smiles. He releases his grip on Puck, and Wyoming is there to scoop him up. Despite Reisen’s hand being inside his skull only moments before, Puck appears completely unharmed.
Reisen says he’s gotten what he wants, and will be seeing all of them soon. He steps back and fades through the wall behind him as everything crumbles around them…
When Mason wakes up, Dr. Faraday is in a panic, as he was unable to revive him after the maintenance. Mason tries to explain what happened, but Dr. Faraday doesn’t understand. Mason immediately goes to find Puck.
Wyoming wakes up in her room, to the sound of several people shouting, and Loyal barking. Wyoming looks in the direction of the sound, and can see that Loyal is standing between her and several medtechs, who are frantically trying to calm her down in order to get past her to check on Wyoming. She calls Loyal’s name, and Loyal immediately turns and runs to her. Wyoming hugs Loyal. Loyal says there was a bad smell, and she couldn’t wake her up. Wyoming says it was bad magic, and says that Loyal did good. They head straight to the med bay.
Argyle wakes up in the motor pool, surrounded by a small crowd. There are several medtechs looking him over. Once it’s clear he’s alright, and can stand without falling over, they back off, but advise him to report to the med bay as soon as possible. Argyle agrees.
Wyoming finds Puck in the med bay, unconscious on a cot. Argyle and Mason show up a minute later. The med techs are baffled as to what’s wrong with Puck. He seems physically unharmed, but he won’t wake up. The techs check out Wyoming and Argyle, and they’re all clear.
They confirm they all had the same experience, and do their best to recount it to the techs, who all seem as lost as Dr. Faraday.
They go to inform Stevens. When they get to his office, they can hear an ongoing conversation inside. In the office, they see Stevens speaking with Gustavus and a couple other of the higher-ups. Stevens tells them to come in and shut the door.
They again do their best to explain what they experienced. When Mason describes Reisen, there’s a look of recognition from Gustavus. He asks them how much they know about Puck. When it becomes clear that they know next to nothing, he explains that Puck was the result of experimentation with DBs. He also explains who Herr Reisen is. It was hoped that he had died in the Siege of Tolkeen. Mason says that he’s on his way, and it’s because he found an image of the castle in Mason’s mind. Gustavus tells Mason it wasn’t his fault.
Gustavus leaves with his entourage, and the crew is alone with Stevens. He reminds them that they’re supposed to be taking it easy. The crew heartily agrees.
Argyle makes himself useful by helping out in the motor pool. Wyoming works on modifying her armor to build in useful add-ons. She spends some time helping out at the quartermaster’s.
Mason heads back to the quartermaster, now that his voice unit is fixed. He requests an upgrade to his weapon, calling his railcannon a peashooter. Smitty is somewhat at a loss for what else Mason would be able to use. Mason asks about plasma weapons, and Smitty says they’re great for unarmored (or only partially armored) targets. He offers to allow Mason to upgrade, but he’ll have to take the railcannon back. In the end, Mason decides to stick with what he’s got.
When they go to check on Puck, he’s still out cold.
About a week goes by.
Wyoming is in the motor pool when she sees Stevens and Dr. Po, who is carrying an oblong box with a carry handle. Stevens tells her that they couldn’t find a horse, but they might have something that would serve the same purpose. Dr. Po opens the box, and there’s a cat. However, it has bony plates from the tip of its nose, over its head, and all down its back, and the tip of its tail ends in a barbed sting. It looks up and meows and rattles its tail. Dr. Po says the venom is mildly euphoric, but not deadly. Wyoming calls Loyal over and says she’s got a present. She explains that she wants Loyal to take care of it. Loyal remains dubious, but accepts the responsibility.
The door to the motor pool opens, and someone gets Stevens’ attention. There is a group of dogboys that seem familiar to Wyoming, and the triplets confirm that they’re from Dogtown. They tell Stevens that they’re here to join up; they want to help their town, and figure this was the best way to do it. Stevens assigns Loyal to train them.
Another week later, Stevens pings the crew. They assemble for a briefing. Stevens assigns Argyle, Wyoming, and Puck (who is awake now) to assist on a rescue mission. He assigns Mason to a different mission.