Charles and his friends follow Captain Kid and Marshal Rayban into the woods until they come upon a huge concrete barrier. This wall is about eight feet high and extents in both directions through the dense forest growth. Marshal Rayban hoists Charles onto the wall, and when Charles stands, he is looking out across a vast concrete ring of unimaginable purpose. The inside of the ring is filled completely with murky water. All Charles can think is this is some kind of abandoned water treatment facility, but even that seems highly unlikely.
The marshal and captain probably know the real purpose, but, as always, those two are infuriatingly tight-lipped. The only thing certain is that Marshal Rayban is aggravated by this water situation. He sets off to find the pump because the circle has to be drained to get to the “shuttle” they’re looking for.
After locating the pump, the marshal has difficulty starting the cursed machine, so Captain Kid suggests the cowboy go on to find his own secret door, the one leading into the Red Real. Here, their paths part.
Charles never care for the gruff cowboy, but the departure leaves him feeling even more lost in the woods than he already was. Still, there is work to be done, and when the pump fires up, Charles’s attention is drawn to the forest lowlands which are filling with black swamp water.
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Chapter 31: The Doorway
Chapter 30: The Armory
Chapter 29: The Destroyer
Chapter 28: Katsuro the Destroyer
Chapter 27: The Cyclops
Chapter 26: The Blue Skulls
Chapter 25: The Great City
Chapter 24: West of the Mountains
Chapter 23: The Knight & the Dagger
Chapter 22: Urgent
Chapter 21: The Smokers’ Cabin
Christmas Special: The REAL Saint Nicholas
Chapter 20: The Bus to Atsuma
Chapter 19: The Doloptree Shopkeepers
Chapter 18: Billy Boy's Stories
Chapter 17: The Moon Folk
Chapter 16: West Along the Desert Road
Chapter 15: Salvation Mountain
Chapter 14: The Desert Road
Chapter 13: The Crossing
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