Under the Steel Web

In Which Our Heroes Escape with Loot

They can get it, but can they keep it?

As they pause outside the vault, spider locked within, they realize another is coming, and they move on rapidly. Victor and Jabari carry the generator as the six make their way back to the Ashfaces. But in the clearing there, the Ashfaces are threatened by a mob, who seek the outsiders. There is a struggle, and the mob is battered and beaten and flee. The surviving Ashfaces are offered the freedom of slavery if they accompany the six, but misunderstand: they think only one will be allowed. One of them emerges victorious: Garrett Cinder, who slays the others and then takes the six with him toward the Stumptown Gate. On the way, they encounter the Skulls, who are a tribe of savages who gather skull. Cinder has told them that they can send a champion to fight the Skull champion: Victor volunteers. If he wins, they can pass freely. If he loses, they must pay a tithe and go back the way they came. The fight is long and tough, but Victor, although injured, wins. They push on toward the gate, and when the sun ends, they leave, paying a tithe to the watchmen; Allen Sook having converted and comforted a few others.

Outside in the city they make their way to Dark City, where Valentine has his lair. His partner Solomon and the rest discuss what to do with their goods: Allen Sook will take the scrolls of the church; Valentine will keep the generator but all the group will share the benefits; the jewels will be sold and the profits split. And the next day, they all gather to discuss matters, and determine that they will work in some degree of partnership to gather and scavenge loot from the Warrens, where they suspect much more remains to be found.

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