Charles and his companions have come through the forest to find a vast circular structure filled with water. As the water drains, the secrets of an immense subterranean facility are revealed.

Standing on top of the concrete ring, the kids look down upon, what can only be described as, an antique fantasy version of a space shuttle. The shuttle stands, poised atop a launch tower, strung with dripping vines, algae caking its windows, and the name Nautilus stenciled upon its wing.

Awed by the site, the kids venture into the shuttle grounds by way of a narrow, rickety stairway. Eventually coming into the control room, it is there where Charles will finally begin to get real answers.

The captain’s plan involves launching the shuttle—with them in it! But before they contemplate the complexity of a shuttle launch (and the suicidal risks involved), Dawn brings them back to the matter of the kidnapping: “You didn’t answer Charles’s question,” she says, looking to Captain Kid. “The girl who took the Patch Fairy, who is she?”

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Twitter: @josephmazerac



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