This page contains a chapter by chapter summary of Calamity. We hope this summary will make it easier to find specific areas of the book, as well as providing a quick plot refresher for anyone who doesn't want to take the time to reread the entire book.
- 1 Prologue
- 2 Part One
- 3 Part Two
- 4 Part Three
- 5 Part Four
- 6 Epilogue
- 7 Notes
A brief word that appears to be the from the point of view of David Charleston, claiming the depths will have him again.
David sits in a tree stand outside the Knighthawk Foundry in West Virginia. Tia is missing since the events in Babilar, so he's the lead for the team consisting of Megan, Cody, Mizzy, and Abraham. Hunted by Prof and almost broke, this is the Reckoners' last desperate attempt to get equipment because Knighthawk refuses to deal with them. As they begin the infiltration, drones attack the team members from every direction, even coming out through a door on the forest floor itself. The door is jammed open by some foliage, and David decides to go in that way, handing ops over to Cody.
David sneaks through the tunnel towards the complex. Megan, over the radio, warns him to be careful since he doesn't have a complete infiltration suit on -- he will have a small heat signature. He tries some random corridors, hoping to grab something useful and get out quickly. Some drones approach and David ducks into an unlocked room. He finds out Abraham has also infiltrated from the roof, but the defenses are overwhelming; they need to get out soon. David takes in his surroundings and discovers he is in a room with dead bodies.
David finds tubs and jars of body parts. He hears a noise over by the door and sees a flicker of light. A small cleaning bot has entered the room through a flap on the door. David tells Mizzy over the radio that it's just a cleaning bot, which unfortunately alerts it to his presence. He grabs it before it can scoot away and leaves it upside down as he moves on. He reasons that this room is probably a decoy because you'd need to freeze the Epics' cells to keep the DNA from degrading, so he breaks into a room next door. He finds some freezers and a bunch of drones guarding them. They point their guns at him.
Just in time, David pulls back from the ambush. He retreats back down the hall to a more defensible position, then uses his gun's ability to fire around corners to take down some of the robots. He tells Mizzy to tell everyone else to pull out. He must find out what's in the heavily-guarded freezers. He sets up his gun on a tripod and fires it remotely, hoping to keep the robots distracted, and heads back into the room. Next, he fakes getting shot by sending off the cleaning bot trailing blood, then hides in a tub to conceal his heat signature. The war bots take the bait and leave the room. David goes back to the freezers and finds a bunch of glass vials inside. He hears a voice, talking to him. He's been discovered.
A single armed robot, from which the voice projects, points a rifle at David. The voice assumes that Prof has sent in a team to rob him. While talking, the voice is informed by someone else that someone has stolen something valuable. He orders David to return the item or he'll shoot. Just as David is about to call the team, Firefight melts through a wall. David lunges at the robot to get out of range, getting shot in the leg in the process. More drones drop from the ceiling and start shooting Firefight, fooled by the large heat signature. David grabs some vials and heads out with Megan's help; his wound is bad and very painful. Firefight meets his eyes and raises his hand toward him. They make their way back toward where David, and apparently Megan, came in. She lets Firefight go because she's getting a headache from resisting someone "trying to get in" her head. They find another group of drones waiting for them in ambush. Megan causes a cave-in and labors under the attack caused by using her powers so much.
Megan is having difficulty keeping Calamity from controlling her. David helps calm her down with a lighter and the illusion of the cave-in disappears. They both surrender to the drones and the voice comes back from one of them. He demands to know how they figured out how to replicate Firefight's power and finally realizes that she must be an Epic. Mizzy sets off some explosives that causes an actual cave-in that very closely mimics the illusion, sparing them from getting crushed. David figured that since Megan was tired, she would use a cave-in from a reality very close to theirs, so the actual cave-in would be very similar. As they start to escape, Megan hangs back to cover David so the rest can escape. The voice and figure show up on a panel as David is about to leave. He realizes they aren’t working for Prof any longer and decides they need to talk. The drones stop and David faints.
David wakes up on a couch, mostly healed but exhausted. The man belonging to the voice is there talking to Megan and Abraham. He introduces himself as Dean Knighthawk. A mannequin sits nearby and expresses body language as he talks since he appears to be paralyzed. Knighthawk is very curious about Megan's powers and why she hasn't become angry and annoyed after using them. He wants to know the secret to staving off the madness. David agrees to tell him if he'll keep quiet for a while and equip them. He reveals that they don't want to destroy Prof (now known as Limelight), but bring him back.
Knighthawk is picked up by his mannequin, and they walk down the hall, talking about the plan to turn Prof back. Knighthawk doubts it will work because Jonathan knows the Reckoners' methods. David asks about motivators, but Knighthawk is coy about what they really are. He wants to protect his trade secret. They stop at a room to get breakfast: popcorn.
The rest of the team joins David and Megan as Knighthawk eats. Abraham asks Knighthawk for his harmsway, but it's the only one he has, and even though it isn't as good as Prof's version, he doesn't want to give it up. He instead offers to loan them the powers of Rtich. The motivator is hidden in a tub of potato salad. Knighthawk hides his good stuff in mundane places so robbers will grab useless stuff. He also offers a crystal grower, a useful item in the "city of salt," Atlanta, where Jonathan is. The team tries to get more out of him, accusing him of being lazy and cowardly. He has a cynical attitude toward the Reckoners and only desires to survive in this new, crazy world. He tells them to get out and never contact him again. David tells Megan to lead the rest of the team out while he tries to get more answers from Knighthawk.
David finds Knighthawk in his room of mementos, staring at the dead body of a beautiful women in a silvery coffin. She is Amala, Knighthawk's wife. She had been an Epic before being killed by Prof. Knighthawk keeps her in stasis, hoping that he can find some Epic healing ability that will bring her back. He warns David that Megan will turn sometime, just as his Amala had, despite fighting off the insanity for as long as she could. David confides to Knighthawk that he wants to kill Calamity, who is an actual Epic himself, and that he needs his help to do it. Knighthawk finally relents and tells him a motivator is actually an incubator for cells harvested from an Epic. He gives him a sample incubator so David can harvest some cells from Prof in order to make a more powerful harmsway for his wife. David doesn't make any promises, but he takes the device.
David wakes from a nightmare that he assumes has something to do with his encounter with Calamity, but he shrugs it off. The team is driving in two jeeps toward Atlanta (renamed Ildithia), now somewhere in Kansas. David sends a kiss to Megan via text but gets a response from Knighthawk instead, who can monitor their communications after all. Megan talks about finding her family again. She speculates that many people are not living in cities but off the land, hidden, like her father had trained her to do, fearing a nuclear holocaust. They stop to switch drivers, and while Abraham takes a short walk, Mizzy complains to David that he's allowed revenge against Steelheart but she isn't against Firefight. David tells her to direct her vengeance toward the real culprit: Calamity. He receives another text from Megan: Kansas City has disappeared.
Kansas City has been destroyed by Obliteration. Knighthawk sends a photo of him holding a glowing device, so now he can destroy cities without warning. His apparent plan is to destroy all current and future Epics by simply killing everyone. The team decides to go after him next after dealing with Prof. David fiddles with the jar of mercury but can't get the rtich device to work. They stop when they find Ildithia's salty trail of destruction. They see some people moving away from the city, and Megan goes to investigate.
The people are refugees, fleeing Ildithia because of a power struggle between Limelight (Prof) and the resident Epic, Larcener. The team decides to enter the city mingled in with some refugees from Kansas City.
The team abandons the jeeps in an old farmhouse and changes into rougher clothes. Abraham warns them to keep their head down and act submissive. When they arrive, they are given an orientation on how the city works and are told to keep their heads down due to some trouble between Epics. After their gear is searched, they accept a job hauling crates in exchange for food. David converses with someone who explains the tribal nature of the city since there is no police force. She confirms that Limelight is in town and is now mostly in control. Suddenly the streets empty. David dashes into store and peers out. It's Prof.
Prof strolls down the street with a green globe trailing behind him. It holds Stormwind, who is completely subdued inside the bubble. David manages to make contact with all the team members, all of whom are safe at the moment. Cody has his sights on Prof and feeds the video to the team. Prof yells for the resisting Epics to come out, and he reaches out and vaporizes an entire building, revealing an Epic with two machine guns. He fires at Prof, but he encloses him in another green bubble and crushes him, just like he did to Exel and Val. A minor Epic named Dynamo comes forward and bows, and Prof demands to know where Larcener is. Dynamo begins to lead him, but Prof first peers into a shipping crate that is partially open. He is heading in Mizzy's direction, and David decides to follow.
Mizzy is trapped in a parking garage, and Dynamo is leading Prof right to it. He instead goes further down the street and uses his powers to find another hiding Epic, who he promptly kills. It's a copy of Dead Drop, an Epic who can make copies of himself, but this one was actually a copy of Larcener, who can assume powers. Prof is annoyed that he has only found a decoy and announces that he is going to destroy the market/parking garage and tells everyone to get out or die. Megan makes herself and David look different and they go out so she can create some illusions that can save Mizzy.
David and Megan follow the crowd out into the street. Prof demands that everyone kneel before the new god of Ildithia. Suddenly, Firefight is kneeling next to David, but not aflame. Firefight assumes that he is in David's world, and notes that he (David) is alive here. Then he disappears, leaving a confused and frightened young man in his place. Prof then starts recruiting soldiers, and David joins the volunteers so they can get to Mizzy easier. Prof then destroys the parking garage with people still inside, commanding his new minions to kill who's left. David and Megan run with the other volunteers, breaking off and finding Mizzy, Megan leaving behind copies of their disguised selves while their "true" selves escape down an alley. David hears a baby start to cry, with its mother frantically trying to calm it down. It catches Jonathan's attention, and he looks extremely annoyed. But David sees a struggle on his face -- he turns away and walks on without harming the baby.
A few days have passed. The team has built a safe house with Knighthawk's crystal grower. David and Megan discuss Firefight's sudden appearance. She doesn't know if she inadvertently brought him through residual effects of her power. She's not really familiar with all that she can do because other Epics used to kill her because they feared her strange ability, so she laid low until Steelheart took her in. She fears that her reincarnated selves are really different people. David doesn't mind and compares her to the sunrise, always changing but beautiful. After they make out for a while, David finds the steel skull of Steelheart in Abraham's pack. He wonders if he would have tried to turn him instead of kill him if he knew then what he knows now. Abraham has also smuggled in an imager. David invites the team to take a walk to discuss plans.
David leads the planning discussion as the team walks through the city. They don't know Prof's weakness, and Megan can't necessarily create it, so it's difficult to plan what to do. David is disturbed by the uneasy peace of the city, maintained by armed groups divided along racial lines. They also discuss Larcener, who has a whole catalog of powers and is apparently lazy. They find a job hauling crates again. David tucks his old broken mobile that can still be tracked into a certain crate. They try to gain some intel by chatting with the other workers. One man David talks to complains about Larcener's loose hold on the city and the resulting social disorder. After a day of working, they collect their food ration and head back to the safe house. They have learned very little, and David is discouraged. Megan notices and tells him he has done well so far; little is decided in the preliminary meetings. A light on the wall indicates someone has entered the apartment adjacent to the safe house. A moment later the door opens, revealing Larcener.
Larcener walks in unconcerned at their guns and claims that he simply wants to hide from Limelight. He demands a drink and is generally quite arrogant toward the group. David makes some demands on him for their allowing him to stay, and to their surprise, he agrees. He appears to be afraid despite displaying some rare and powerful abilities like dowsing. Knighthawk sends a text to David, reporting that the crate with the phone is on the move. David leaves Megan to protect the group and takes Abraham to follow the crate.
Abraham rents two bikes so they can catch up to the crate. As they ride, David remembers the thrill of learning how to ride a bike with his father. Abraham notices that he's crying. They turn onto a street and see a minor Epic called Neon using a dowser on everyone that passes. The machine takes a long time with David but eventually reads him as not an Epic. They continue on and arrive at an apartment building with some guards outside. David tells them to give a stranger among them their descriptions. Tia shows up with more guards.
David and Abraham are disarmed and marched into the building to a room with no windows. Tia asks David to recount a conversation they had to verify that it's really him. She then asks how they found her, and they explain that they saw her unique brand of cola in the crate. And so did Prof. This spurs the whole group into action while Tia and David discuss what to do with Prof. Abraham convinces her that David's idea about facing your fears was a good theory and that they should try to bring him back. There's no way they can simply kill all of the Epics; they must try something different. A guard bursts into the room and reports to Carla, apparently the one in charge of the family, that the new Epic is on his way and their building is surrounded by a rival family. They prepare for battle, but Tia knows it is hopeless. She will give herself up to Prof to avoid bloodshed. She gives David a chip that contains her plans and tells him that Jon's weakness is his powers. When someone else uses his powers on him, it negates the rest of them. David promises to rescue her.
Down in the street, Tia is presented to Prof, and he puts her into one of his green force field orbs. She was right; he didn't kill her right away. He wants to interrogate her first.
David wakes from another nightmare during the night. He looks around for Megan but can't find her. He finds Abraham working with the rtich. He can form the mercury into a surface that can support his weight. He continues to look for Megan and wanders into Larcener's room. He tells Larcener that he could beat Prof, but Larcener says he's not allowed to fight, just observe. David asks him if he doesn't sleep to avoid the nightmares that all Epics have, and Larcener gets angry and indignant. He moves on and finally finds Megan enjoying the scenery in an empty field from a parallel universe. David suggests she bring a Prof from another world, who hasn't succumbed, to fight the evil one here. Then his powers could be negated so they could make him confront his fear, turning him back. He encourages her to experiment more with her powers, which she reluctantly does. David finds himself in mid-air.
David crashes to the ground and looks up at the stars. Ildithia is there in the distance and there is no Calamity in the sky. After a moment he is drawn back to the hideout to a frantic Megan. Cody comes to check up on them. David asks Megan to show them the same world, and Cody looks at this version of Ildithia through his scope. They are not only in a different world but in a different location in that world, outside the city. David wonders how there can be Epics there without Calamity to give them powers. They all return to bed so they can plan tomorrow.
Mizzy activates the imager to look at Tia's plan. She had planned for two teams to infiltrate Sharp Tower, the residence of Larcener now taken over by Prof. Unfortunately, it required lots of equipment that isn't exactly available, even if they could afford it. David decides the only way is to get Larcener to help them. He tells him that one of their team has been captured by Limelight and that he'll be paying them a visit soon. Larcener is extremely upset at the incompetence of the Reckoners. David says if he doesn't conjure up what they need, they'll leave the city, leaving Larcener to deal with Limelight. Larcener is forced to accept because he can't interfere and must stay hidden. He calls all humans evil and broken. David looks into his eyes and sees an infinite darkness.
David talks to Edmund over a mobile to tease out some more information about weaknesses, Epic powers, etc. Steelheart used to put vicious dogs in with him to keep him afraid. One day, he thought one of the dogs was attacking a girl, and he tackled the dog, thereby facing his fear. He also suffers from nightmares. He's tired of hiding out and wants to join another Epic, and David tells him to go ahead if he wants. When he declines, David asks him to join the team, but Edmund can't be bothered with that. The group prepares to head out. Larcener accuses them of abandoning him, so David suggests he just use a decoy if someone comes. Larcener doesn't like to do that because it's painful. They head out.
The team heads to Sharp Tower divided into two groups, one with David and Megan, the other with Mizzy and Abraham, with Cody running ops. David and Megan have disguised faces courtesy Megan's powers. They are pretending to be the cake decorators from Stingray clan, who are too busy preparing to leave the city to bother coming to the party. They make it up to the restaurant level via a service elevator and are immediately escorted to their station, where they are to decorate cupcakes for Loophole. After preparing their guns, David peeks out the door into the party. He doesn't see Prof, but he does see Obliteration, who smiles at him.
Obliteration teleports over to David. He knows who he is despite the disguise. His goal is to destroy all human (and Epic) life, so he lets David go since their goals align for now. The chef comes back and demands the cupcakes, and Megan manages to put frosting on them permanently. Such use of her power brings the headache back right away. They quickly change into their formal wear and enter the party as guests. They stroll across the room and enter a service hallway lined with restrooms. David picks the lock on a nondescript door. Megan places a box on the cords leading from the power source. They go back out to the party and onto the rotating platform. David activates the box with his mobile, and the power goes out for a few seconds, allowing Mizzy and Abraham to bypass some security cameras. David hears Prof's voice and decides to get closer.
Prof is planning with his assembled team of Epics. He instructs them not to kill Larcerner but to collect some of his tissue in a container just like the one David has. The lights go out again and Prof gets agitated for a moment. He points right at David and calls him over, but he only wants his cupcake. Abraham and Mizzy are almost to Tia, and the lights have to go out again, causing Prof to curse. They rescue Tia, but she wants to get Prof's data before they leave so she can know what he's planning. As they leave the room where she has been kept tied up, Prof stands up and the room gets quiet. He orders his minions to the elevator.
David and Megan head for the stairs and kill the lights to cover Abraham and Mizzy's escape. Tia insists on going back to Prof's office. She even tries to pull rank on David as the senior Reckoner, but David argues that they must extract now, and the other team members agree. The dead guards, attached to parachutes, are thrown out the window, creating a diversion so Abraham's group can reach the elevator and zip down to the ground. Tia doesn't come with them. The lights come back on and Prof commands an Epic named Wiper to engage her powers (disrupting other Epics' powers), causing Megan's disguises to disappear. They are exposed.
David and Megan start shooting and setting off grenades to cover their escape to the stairwell. Prof can't stop them because his powers have also been negated by Wiper. Abraham has left behind back-up equipment by the elevator shaft, so they head there to avoid the heavily guarded stairs. On the way there, a wall disintegrates, revealing an angry and disdainful Prof. He encloses them in a force field, but Megan brings his daughter Tavi from another world into the bubble with them. She destroys the force field and asks her father what's going on. He knows it's a trick by Megan, and they start to fight. The floor underneath David suddenly disappears.
David starts to fall through a hole in the floor, but he grabs the edge and hauls himself up. Megan is busy concentrating on keeping Tavi in their world and shows worrying signs of Epic attitude. Prof and Tavi continue to fight, with Prof starting to get the upper hand. Their powers negate each other to some extent, so they both get wounded. Tia is still trying to get into Prof's office but can't get past a locked door. Eventually the battle gets to her and she enters through a broken wall. David manages to shoot Prof when Tavi's tensors temporarily negate his healing powers. He enters the thick of battle to collect Prof's tissue blown off from the gunshot, who sees him and is about to unleash an attack.
David rolls to the side and through a ripple of reality. He finds himself on a rooftop with Firefight. He demands to know what happened with Tavi and requests that they bring her back into their world, where she is needed. A flash from Sharp Tower alerts them to Obliteration. Firefight tells Tia (presumably through electronic communication) that he wants to engage. They see people jumping out of the building and falling to their death to avoid the heat from Obliteration's blasts. Firefight tries to go rescue them, but he's too late. It doesn't matter because an Epic that is unmistakably Steelheart flies over and rescues them. Firefight tells David that he must talk to him because he killed him in this world. David asks where Calamity is, and Firefight calls him "Invocation" and says that he left years ago. David is pulled back. Guards have now joined the fight threatening to overwhelm Tavi. Megan looks imperious and angry as she fully exercises her powers.
David searches desperately for some fire to bring Megan back and send Tavi away. He runs over to Tia to see if she has a lighter. Tavi is defeated; Prof looms over her. Megan turns an angry but pleading face at David. He shoots the generator, starting a fire. Megan rushes into the fire, burning an arm badly but turning off her powers and pushing back the darkness. Tavi disappears and Prof turns his attention to them. He orders the guards to kill them, not knowing that Tia is there. David shields Megan from the shots and feels some power within him. After the barrage, David looks around and sees that he isn't shot and that the floor around him has turned to steel. Tia, however, curses Prof for being right and dies. He desperately tries to heal her, but it's too late. The building collapses in Prof's anguished rage, and David and Megan plummet to the ground, slowed somewhat by a parachute. Abraham finds them.
The team heads back to their hideout. When they arrive, Cody goes on watch to see if they were followed, and Abraham tends to the wounded. He tells Mizzy to return the equipment to Larcener with thanks. An hour later, Abraham checks on Cody; no one in sight -- they have apparently escaped. Before David debriefs them, Abraham goes through a ritual and prayer with his Faithful necklace to mourn Tia. David then tells them everything he learned while in the other world, but he still withholds the information about his powers. Knighthawk calls and reports that he downloaded most of the information that Tia had uploaded onto her mobile from Prof's computer. David has already figured out his scheme anyway: he wants to gain Larcener's ability to absorb other Epic powers, teleport to Calamity himself (via Obliteration's powers that Regalia collected), absorb his powers (i.e. all Epic powers), and thereby become the supreme Epic. David reveals that he has a tissue sample from Prof, and Knighthawk agrees to make motivators from them. David drags himself over to a sleeping Megan, lays down with her, and falls asleep.
David wakes up terrified from a vivid nightmare. No one else is awake except for Mizzy (on watch), who has also repaired his mobile. He reads through the data from Tia via Knighthawk. There are some unsatisfactory pictures of the Epic Calamity and a video of Prof years ago when he was an enthusiastic science teacher. Mizzy comes in with a drone from Knighthawk. Inside is his harmsway. The rest of the crew assumes that once David has healed, they will be leaving the city. David convinces them to stay when he shows them the tissue sample from Prof. They can still make him face his own powers by replicating them and using them against him themselves. As Abraham hooks up the harmsway to David, David asks why he isn't in charge. Abraham reveals that he was part of JTF2 in Canada before an Epic named Powder came and destroyed their base. He was the only survivor because he was locked up waiting for his court martial. He salutes David and walks away.
David has been healed, mostly, and so has Megan, but she remains asleep, worrying David. He checks his mobile and finds dozens of messages from a bored Knighthawk. He offers a refreshed scan of Ildithia taken by his drone for their imager. David downloads it and loses himself for a while, flying around the city. Cody joins him, and he talks about his time as a cop. He regrets that so many people were hurt in the operation and suggests they fight Prof outside the city at a place they pick. Using his powers will definitely draw him to them. David examines the faces of the dead around Sharp Tower more carefully, and he realizes that Stormwind, the source of food for Ildithia and elsewhere, is among them. David proposes an operation to harvest her cells, but the probability of success is very low and the risk is enormous. Cody convinces him to drop the idea. Mizzy reports that Megan is awake. David immediately goes to her.
Megan is okay but feels terrible about the death of Tia and going so dark. She warns David that the same thing could happen to them -- she could go dark again and kill him. David reveals that he has been having nightmares and manifesting powers. They agree to stay together despite the danger. Suddenly, Megan decides to get rid of her powers instead and marches into Larcener's room. He tries to oblige, but she is able to withstand him. Leaving the room, she explains that the powers are part of her now, and she claims them as her own. They start to plan the destruction of Calamity.
The team has relocated to a large warehouse. It's on the edge of the city and was the site of a bloody gang war, so no one wants to use it. It sits on top of some Digzone caverns. They plan to let the city pass by and practice in the caverns for a month, then ambush Prof. Cody is building a new room which Larcener promptly adopts as his own. Megan and Mizzy are planning together, and Abraham wants David's help with the rtich.
Abraham manipulates the mercury over his arms and legs and creates various shapes with it. He tells David to push a group of large slabs of saltstone down on him to test the strength of the mercury. The slabs break in pieces around Abraham. Next, he builds a shield and Cody shoots him. All the bullets are captured by the thin layer of mercury. Abraham gives a rare smile of genuine pleasure. Knighthawk sends a message to David from Prof. He threatens to destroy Newcago and then Babilar if they don't turn over Larcener within two days. They figure that since he has at least one Obliteration bomb, he is capable of doing it. They no longer have a month to practice.
A drone arrives from Knighthawk that night. It contains a vest and gloves with Prof's powers, some explosives, and other gadgets. Cody will have to practice in another dimension courtesy Megan's powers in order to not alert Prof. David relieves Cody from his lookout post. He is annoyed by a feeling that he's forgotten something. After two hours of boredom, Larcener shows up. He complains about people thinking that sunrises are beautiful and claims that he is the only sane person on the planet. He tells David that he hates Epics only because he is jealous and wants to be one of them. Humans show their true colors when they gain Epic powers, destroying and murdering. David storms off and goes back to his post. He realizes that he really doesn't know Epics that well as people, but he does know Prof. Prof thinks like a Reckoner, and he will be coming before his deadline is up. They start an emergency pull-out.
The team executes their standard escape plan. Megan is put on watch so Cody's suit can remain secure. She reports that there are thousands of people headed their way; they may already be surrounded. Knighthawk calls and shows them images from his drones. Everyone who tries to run is shot, and Prof's lackeys are feeling everyone's faces to detect Megan's disguises. They are indeed completely surrounded. They decide to stay and fight rather than try to bust through. Cody prepares to use the tensors to dig down into the tunnels. They know that Prof will be there immediately once they use them, but it's their best defensive position.
Cody activates the tensors and blasts a 10-foot deep hole in the ground. It's not enough to reach the tunnels, so David encourages him to try again with the soul of a warrior. He blasts a much deeper hole, revealing the caverns. Knighthawk says Prof is coming fast. As they start rappelling down, David invites Larcener to join them and help change the world. He acts disdainful, as usual. David stations Cody down a corridor to remain hidden for now. Then he finds a nook to hide in to run ops. He tells Megan to be careful with her powers, but she is confident that she can stay in control. He activates a special headset from Knighthawk with multiple views from the tiny walking camera drones that Mizzy has set up. Prof arrives and destroys the entire roof of the caverns, floating on a force field disc. David puts the plan into action that will hopefully save his friend.
Abraham fires his machine gun at Prof first, then Cody enters the battle. He's able to defend against Prof's attacks and protect Abraham, but he's not able to attack with force fields as well as Prof. They try to back him into one of Mizzy's bombs. Megan provides additional distractions with illusions from other dimensions. Suddenly, Cody is surprised by a "squirrel" or "rat" which turns out to be Loophole, shrunk to a tiny size. She's apparently grabbed the harmsway motivator, so Cody can't heal. Knighthawk is able to track her down, and he reluctantly takes over ops from David, who goes to hunt her. Megan and Abraham fight to protect Cody who is gravely wounded.
Prof talks to David through his mobile that Knighthawk has patched through to him. He blames David for pushing the Reckoners to take unnecessary risks and forcing him to this point. David heads toward Loophole, pretending to be heading toward the battle. He tries to pin her behind a rock, but the rock shrinks, then she shrinks David. He fires some shots at her as she runs away, and David demands the motivator. She returns to normal size, making her huge compared to David. She tries to stomp on David, stirring up a bunch of dust, which causes him to sneeze and return to normal size. He again demands the motivator, but she attacks again, shrinking David's bullets as he fires at her and then the machine gun itself. She then proceeds to pummel David in the face and stomach with punches. She's distracted for a moment by a bunch of camera drones, and David lunges at her. They both shrink and she continues to beat him up. Just as David is defeated, she starts monologuing about stealing Prof's plan. David throws dust in her face and grabs the motivator. She falls without any harm into a crack in the floor, but then she sneezes, causing her to go back to normal size and get squished.
David stumbles about trying to find Cody. Prof and Megan engage in an epic battle, using their powers to fullest. Firefight and the Loophole from his dimension do battle and Prof is teleporting about. David finds Mizzy tending to Cody. They hook up the harmsway, and he starts healing, but he is unconscious. Obliteration suddenly shows up and decides that David has lost. He starts to kill David, and he desperately tells him that he plans to kill Calamity. Obliteration is impressed and gives him one more chance. David tells Mizzy to get out and take Abraham, who has lost an entire arm. David dons the vest and gloves, heals himself with the harmsway, and prepares to battle Prof.
David and Megan -- dozens of versions of her from different worlds -- desperately fight Prof. David uses Prof's powers as much as possible just to get him agitated. However, confronting his own powers isn't causing him to turn. They must have the weakness wrong, so they decide to try to kill him. Prof unloads a huge attack that David can't repel, but Megan blocks it with a mercury shield. She has found a version of herself that has learned the rtich because Abraham is running ops in that world. David and Megan attack in tandem, driving Prof back, but his healing powers continue to save him. He causes the roof to fall in on them, and sunlight suddenly appears. Surrounding the hole are about fifty minions, holding flamethrowers. Prof orders them to fire.
David manages to throw up a force field around Megan, then he vaporizes the weapons with tensor power, stopping the assault. Prof boasts that he had a plan to deal with Megan, unlike David's reckless behavior. They argue and fight again, and this time Prof is able to vaporize one of the gloves and knock David over. Prof unplugs the motivators and slaps David, calling them fools and failures. Megan counters that it's not a failure to try but to let others fight for you. David realizes that Prof fears failure. David and Megan berate Prof for failing in various ways, including killing Tia and not getting to Larcener in time (they pretend he's dead), and Prof's powers wink out. Megan hands David a gun, but despite Prof's demand to put him out of his misery, he doesn't shoot. Larcener arrives mysteriously and takes Prof's powers, then leaves. Then Obliteration suddenly shows up to keep his promise. They teleport away.
David finds himself in a searing desert with Obliteration. He offers him the bomb meant for Atlanta, to destroy Calamity. The detonator has a short range, so David will have to die to set it off. This gives him pause, but agrees to go. Obliteration teleports David to Calamity's abode: the international space station transformed into glass. David decides he must see Calamity first before detonating the bomb, so he heads toward a figure bathed in intense red light. As he approaches, the light dims and the man turns around: it's Larcener.
David asks Calamity why he gave his powers to humans, and he says he is merely bringing them the power to destroy themselves. He comes from a place with no loud sounds and bright lights, and David realizes that the Epic nightmares are really Calamity's. Calamity can't understand why David hasn't embraced his powers and started to destroy. David asks why he stayed, unlike in other parallel worlds, and apparently it's due to curiosity: what makes humans love their wretched world so much? David tells him to leave, but he says he must stay until his work is finished. David detonates the bomb.
The bomb starts to destroy the station, but Calamity simply draws the explosion into his hand and repairs the glass, sparing David as well. He is master of all the powers he bestows, so he can stop them all. He continues to monologue about humans being worthless, they're going to kill each other, etc. while David argues that the destruction is his fault. Calamity has had enough and tries to send David out into space, but Prof shows up and punches him. He is wearing the vest, but Calamity is dumbfounded because once the powers are reclaimed, they are gone for good. Prof has not only faced his fear (by coming to confront Calamity despite the lack of any plans or contingencies to prevent or mitigate failure) but has also claimed the powers as his own, like Megan. Calamity knocks the teleporter out of Prof's hands and is about to destroy them when Megan shows up with a version of Obliteration. She shoots Calamity (to no effect) and asks David what his plan is. He tells her to send him and Calamity to Firefight's world. He grabs Calamity and they appear in another place.
Calamity is still angry and is about to kill David again, but he tempts him with the answer to his curiosity. He reverts back to Larcener form and becomes merely disdainful. David points out that here, "Calamity" didn't stay behind, and the Epics are those who fight those who would destroy. He is dumbfounded. As an example, "Steelheart" is cheered below and flies up to meet them. It is David's father.
David and his father have a tearful reunion. Calamity sees that this is the Steelheart of this world and that he isn't evil. They fade back into their own world, back on the space station. Calamity is almost in anguish that all humans are not evil destroyers. David asks him if that is his fear, that humans are not inherently bad. He collapses and fades away. The station starts to fall to the earth. David embraces his powers to save them.
They have crash-landed in Australia and wait for a copter from Knighthawk, who sends them a message about Mizzy: she is an Epic. Obliteration shows up and gives David a week to heal. He plans on destroying Toronto next. Megan is well rested now, so she can send David back to his father. They meet at Sharp Tower and greet each other awkwardly. David says he's having trouble with flying, so his father hesitantly offers to teach him. David gladly accepts.
| The Reckoners|
Steelheart · (Mitosis) · Firefight · Calamity
|Characters||David Charleston · Megan Tarash · Jonathan Phaedrus|
|Places||Newcago · Babilar · Ildithia|
|Reckoners||Abraham · Cody · Exel · Mizzy · Tia · Valentine · Sam|
|Epics||Calamity · Conflux · Faultline · Firefight · Fortuity · Nightwielder · Obliteration · Regalia · Steelheart · Loophole|
|Other||Faithful · Coven · Great Transfersion|