Chapter Summary: The Shattered Lens
This page contains a chapter by chapter summary of The Shattered Lens. 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 Foreword
- 2 Chapter 2
- 3 Chapter 6
- 4 Chapter π
- 5 Chapter 4 ½
- 6 Chapter 42
- 7 Chapter 144
- 8 Act V, Scene III
- 9 Chapter A+
- 10 Chapter No!
- 11 Chapter 1010
- 12 Chapter 24601
- 13 Chapter 070706
- 14 Chapter 6.02214187 × 10 23
- 15 Chapter Four Teens and a Pickle
- 16 Chapter 8675309
- 17 Chapter 16
- 18 Chapter NCC-1701
- 19 Chapter 4815162342
- 20 Chapter ???
- 21 Chapter ∞
- 22 Chapter ∞ + 1
- 23 Afterword
- 24 Notes
The author claims that he is so stoopid that he can't even spell stupid correctly.
Bastille is doing some weapons training with Alcatraz in the Royal Weapons Testing Facility. He detonates various teddy bears that fling him about the room. Bastille is in a sour mood because she can't participate in the war. Even with their victory over She Who Cannot Be Named and a traitorous Crystin Knight, now that there is no treaty being negotiated, the Librarians are attacking Mokia with full strength. They both want something exciting to happen.
As they look out the window, they see the Hawkwind flying away, the aircraft that Alcatraz's father was getting ready to use for his secret mission. It appears that he has left without saying goodbye.
Back at Keep Smedry, Grandpa reads a note from Attica:
”To my father and son, I am bad at saying goodbye. Goodbye.— Attica Smedry's farewell note
Bastille is aghast at his cold treatment of his son, and Grandpa tries to cheer him up. Alcatraz knows where he is going: after Shasta to get the Incarna book she stole from the Royal Archives (Not a Library!). Kaz suddenly shows up, covered with soot. He's been lost for a longer time than usual. He comes back with the news that Tuki Tuki, the capitol of Mokia, is under siege, but they already know this. Some of the members of the Council of Kings are dragging their feet (probably due to side treaties with the Librarians) and the Knights of Crystallia cannot get involved in political conflicts. They can only defend Smedry's or monarchs, and King Talakimallo has already been taken from Tuki Tuki to a safer location. Alcatraz suggests sending someone very important into the battle so the Knights would be forced to go. Bastille smiles, and everyone looks at Alcatraz.
Alcatraz barges in on a meeting of the Council of Kings and announces that he wants to take a vacation. After a couple of tempting suggestions, he insists that he wants to go someplace really exciting: Tuki Tuki. Grandpa drops a hint about the Knights having to protect him there, then they run from the chamber. A moment later they find themselves pursued by at least fifty Knights. If they can catch Alcatraz before he leaves, they can lock him up in protective custody. The Knights quickly catch up, so Grandpa joins their side, chasing Bastille and Alcatraz, enabling him to engage his Talent and make them arrive late to the pursuit.
Chapter 4 ½
Alcatraz and Bastille run up a set of stairs. Alcatraz breaks the stairs, keeping the Knights away for the moment, but also trapping them on the upper level. Kaz suddenly appears and tells them there is a vehicle waiting for them at Keep Smedry. Aydee Ecks, another Smedry cousin, is the pilot. The Knights are on them again, having found another way to their level, so Kaz engages his Talent so they can escape. Unfortunately, his Talent has been erratic lately, and they end up in the cave of a baledragon, who starts to attack. Kaz engages his Talent again, and Alcatraz sees a very brief vision of the Incarna wheel. They are now inside the dragon's stomach. Kaz transports them to Keep Smedry (after a brief visit to the bottom of the ocean), and they all climb to the top to a waiting glass butterfly aircraft, the Colorfly. They all board her and take off.
After a supposedly long, exciting, event-filled flight, the team finds themselves hanging upside down from some vines after having been shot down. Kaz scouts the area and finds that they are outside Tuki Tuki. As Alcatraz gathers information on the group's assets, he notices that Grandpa has slipped a couple more pairs of lenses into his jacket: another set of Courier's lenses and a set of Bestower's lenses. Alcatraz uses his boosting power to talk to Grandpa through the Courier's lenses, and he tells Alcatraz that he needs to use the Communicator's Glass in the palace to call the Mokian embassy in Nalhalla to convince the Knights that he's really there. They proceed to the capitol and find three (six, after Aydee counts them erroneously) giant robots and a large Librarian army camped outside. Kaz offers to use his Talent to get past them and the glass dome protecting the city, but Alcatraz has another idea.
Alcatraz keeps watch, thinking about his father and mother. He worries that he is the reason they broke up even though Bastille insists that it isn't his fault. She teaches Alcatraz a little about the Bestower's Lenses, and he tries them on, causing Bastille to be hungry instead of Alcatraz. He rejoins the group and they implement his plan: sneak into the city under cover of dark. Bastille dons her Warrior's Lenses and scouts ahead. She efficiently knocks out two guards. Alcatraz picks up a rifle and inadvertently triggers his Talent, causing the gun to fire. The alarm is sounded.
Act V, Scene III
The Librarians are on full alert, but they are confused as to what exactly caused the disturbance. Alcatraz creates a diversion by firing a whole row rifles using his Talent, but eventually some of the Librarians spot them, and they are attacked. Bastille and Kaz start fighting with their weapons, but Alcatraz feels useless until he remembers that he's wearing the Bestower's Lenses. He focuses on a Librarian and starts punching himself, transferring the effect to the attacker. They manage to break free of the camp and run toward the glass dome, but they are spotted again. The Librarians try to shoot them with rifles, but all three Smedry Talents engage, negating the attack. They reach a glass door in the dome, and Bastille shows them her Crystin blade to prove they aren't enemies. They are admitted into Tuki Tuki.
Alcatraz and company are led through a gate of a battered and burned wooden wall and introduced to "General Mallo." He scolds Aydee for coming into the city instead of staying someplace safe. Alcatraz asks to use their Communicator's Glass to try to get more help. The soldiers appear exhausted and discouraged but perk up at this news. As Mallo leads them through the city, Alcatraz notices that many of the beautiful flowers are drooping and most of the men wear bandages. Alcatraz asks about the simple huts, assuming there must be more to them, but Mallo explains that they have chosen a simple life to be close to nature and to have time to think and study. They reach the palace and meet Bastille's lovely, regal sister, Angola Dartmoor. She greets them all warmly and invites them inside. Alcatraz figures out that Mallo is actually King Talakimallo (who was supposed to be safe somewhere else with the Knights). He invites them inside for a talk.
Mallo explains that he sent his daughter in his stead, disguised as him using Disguiser's Lenses. The royal lineage is preserved that way, and he can remain behind and fight, as is his right. He was about to surrender to the Librarians just as Alcatraz arrived because the Shielder's Glass is about to give out. Alcatraz promises to get more help and urges the king to hold out a little longer. Angola agrees that if there is a small chance to preserve the people, they should try. Mallo promises to consider the offer after Alcatraz uses the Communicator's Glass.
While they wait for the glass to arrive, Bastille and Alcatraz argue about whether they should encourage them to keep fighting. Alcatraz blurts out an invitation for a date in Hushlands vernacular that just confuses her, much to his relief. They bring in the Communicator's Glass, which is a half piece of glass in a hand mirror. The other half is in Nalhalla. The Librarians have destroyed most of the other glass technology in the city. Alcatraz touches the glass to activate it, and Grandpa answers. Some Knights appear and are convinced that Alcatraz is indeed in Tuki Tuki, but they are still hesitant to go there, feeling manipulated. On an impulse, Alcatraz rotates the mirror toward Mallo, giving him away. Suddenly, the glass stops working, and a messenger reports that the Librarian army is up to something.
On top of the wooden palisade, they observe the robots driving tall glowing rods into the ground around the city. Aydee speculates that they are some sort of glass device, but Kaz notes that the order of the Shattered Lens is running the war, and they eschew silimatic technology. Alcatraz powers up his Communicator's Lenses to talk to Grandpa, who can only give vague promises about coming to help. Whatever the purpose of the rods, they are disruptive to Alcatraz's glass and the connection goes out. Once again, Mallo seriously considers surrender as the robots move to start throwing boulders again. Suddenly, a group of Librarian soldiers come up from a tunnel and a quick skirmish ensues. The Librarians are defeated, but Mallo and Angola have been hit and are in a coma. Alcatraz asks who is in charge now, and since those of sufficient rank are gone or in a coma, the highest person of peerage assumes the role of acting king. That person is Alcatraz.
The soldiers ask Alcatraz for orders: fight, or surrender, as the king was about to do. Alcatraz had thought it cowardly to surrender, but now that the lives of the Mokians are on his shoulders, it's not so easy to send them into battle. He decides to fight. They only need to hold out for seven more hours (until dawn) until help arrives. After making various orders, he is alone with Bastille. She encourages him and offers her assistance since she has been trained in matters of war both as a princess and a Crystin Knight. Steeled by her advice, he is ready to be king.
Bastille and Alcatraz rush to another breach in the city caused by tunneling Librarians. When they arrive, the skirmish is already over. Several Mokians are down and the Librarians seemed to surrender pretty quickly. The Mokians are exhausted and despondent, but Alcatraz convinces them to keep fighting against Librarian oppression, even if Mokia falls. He consults with his advisors (Mink, Dink, and Wink) who tell him that they should surrender. Alcatraz instead comes up with a plan to at least take out the robots. He gives Aydee a nonsensical math problem to determine how many purple teddy bears there are. She comes up with an answer in the thousands, and they instantly appear. Alcatraz then goes to deal with the prisoners and notices that his mother is among them.
Chapter 6.02214187 × 10 23
Alcatraz questions his mother. Using the Truthfinder's Lenses, he sees again that she really doesn't wish him harmed and that she didn't follow him to Tuki Tuki. He also learns that she no longer has the book she stole from the Royal Archives in Nalhalla. She refuses to answer any more questions, so he orders her and the prisoners locked up. Bastille feels via her Fleshstone that a group of Knights is on the way, but they won't be there for hours. Alcatraz has another plan, this time involving Bastille and stilts.
Chapter Four Teens and a Pickle
Bastille and others around the city stand on stilts watching for another Librarian tunnel. Alcatraz explains to Kaz that once a tunnel appears, everyone will clear the area so the Librarians can advance into the city away from the hole. Then six Mokian runners will use the tunnel to run out to the robots and knock them over with purple teddy bears. The dome only has about 15 minutes left before it breaks. While they wait for a tunnel to appear, Alcatraz shares his theory about the Incarna with Kaz. He believes that they wanted to make themselves Lenses, and that's how they got Talents, but only the Smedry line survived. Kaz figures that Alcatraz's parents wanted to find the secret to gaining Talents but disagreed on what to do with it. Bastille reports a disturbance in the ground nearby. They head that direction.
As they run to the hole, Kaz convinces Alcatraz to let him be on the strike team. He can disappear once he's done, saving some Mokian runners with him. Alcatraz agrees and tells him to go to Grandpa and deliver this message: be here by midnight or all is lost. (Midnight is only minutes away, but Grandpa and the Knights are hours away.) The Librarians emerge from the tunnel and move on. When the runners reach the hole, they discover two Librarian guards. One Mokian is shot before they are neutralized by Kaz and Bastille. Bastille insists on replacing the downed runner because there are probably more guards at the other end that she'll need to take care of. Alcatraz reluctantly lets her go when she argues that the dome is almost gone and that this is the best way to protect him. They disappear down the hole, and Alcatraz rushes to the wall to watch. Just as he arrives, he sees the runners emerge and scatter. They are hopelessly outnumbered, even in the rear lines, but he realizes that he may be able to help them with his Bestower's Lenses. He finds runners who are being chased or cornered and lends them physical aid, allowing them to evade the Librarians. Bastille and Kaz, with their Warrior's Lenses, reach their robots first and knock them down with purple teddy bears. Then Alcatraz sees one of the Mokian runners get shot.
With one runner down and two robots remaining, Alcatraz sees the last runner about to fall as well. He sends out every bit of physical ability he can, but even that is not enough as he sees a row of rifles aimed at the runner. He sends his Breaking Talent as well, making the rifles explode. The runner manages to throw his teddy bear and the robot is toppled. There is still one more, however, and one more boulder will probably finish the dome since there is already a gaping hole in it. Alcatraz goes to the glass dome and releases power into it -- the boulder bounces off. He collapses in exhaustion. Kaz escapes with two of the runners, but Bastille makes a desperate run for the last robot. She manages to throw her teddy bear and knock it down, but she is shot unconscious and brutally beaten by the Librarians. Alcatraz orders the soldiers to watch for more tunnels and goes to question his mother.
Shasta is being kept in a tiger enclosure. She claims to not know the antidote for the Librarian coma guns, and when Alcatraz dons the Truthfinder's Lenses, it shows that she is telling the truth. She insists that this battle is of little interest to her, and she demands that he take off the Truthfinder's Lenses and leave his guards behind or she won't talk any further. Alcatraz feels he has no choice, so he starts questioning her about the Incarna. She mostly confirms what Alcatraz had figured out -- that the Incarna wanted to imbue everyone with a Talent, but something went wrong. The Talents were difficult to control because they became "tied up" with some other force that corrupted them. She proposes an alliance with Alcatraz. At first he is incredulous, but then he realizes that his father's plan will unleash chaos on the world. He slips back on the Truthfinder's Lenses while his mother continues to talk, not seeming to notice him. She reveals her true motivation: she wants to protect her family -- everyone -- from the secret that destroyed the Incarna. Alcatraz realizes that she is right.
Shasta presses Alcatraz to escape with her now as Tuki Tuki is doomed. He remains loyal to his responsibility to the Mokians and walks off. Aydee and Aluki report that ro-bats are flying through the hole in the glass, each carrying dozens of Librarian troops. Alcatraz is overwhelmed by the situation and can't think of a plan. He walks away from them too, right into another Librarian tunnel just as it opens up.
Alcatraz is captured and quickly tied up in a net. The Librarians search his stuff and find his Oculator's Lenses in his jacket, which they quickly destroy with some sort of gun. Alcatraz tries to engage his Talent to break the netting, but it refuses to work for him. Going through his jacket, they next find his Translator's and Courier's Lenses and destroy them too. After finding his Bestower's Lenses and destroying one of them, a fleet of glass birds holding Knights of Crystallia and Grandpa swoop into the city. Grandpa had arrived earlier than possible because he thought he was arriving late (past midnight). Alcatraz's captors are temporarily stunned by the turn of events, dropping his Lenses. Then one of them decides to kill Alcatraz and pulls out a conventional gun. Alcatraz notices the pack of bears lying right next to him, and he manages to pull the tag on one of them just as he's shot, vaporizing the bullet, the net holding him down, and his clothes.
Alcatraz races away, grabbing his jacket and Lenses. He runs into Draulin, Kaz, Aydee, and some Mokian soldiers. Draulin is there to evacuate Alcatraz; the rest of the Knights will stay to fight and die. They had not come originally even though they wanted to because they knew it was hopeless. The ro-bats smash through the glass dome allowing the rest of the army to pour into the city. Alcatraz rides off on the Owlport with the king and queen on board as well. Alcatraz remembers Bastille and commandeers the vessel, ordering it down to a camp outside the city. They land near the prisoner tent. While Kaz and Draulin deal with the guards, Alcatraz collects a comatose Bastille. As they return to the ship, it is blasted by Librarian cannon fire, disabling it. Alcatraz is extremely frustrated; he has failed at everything he tries to accomplish -- saving his father, defending Mokia, rescuing Bastille. His Breaking Talent swells within him, and he unleashes it through the Bestower's Lens and into Bastille's Fleshstone, "tricking" the power by pretending to want to destroy someone he cares about. The enormous load of power leaves him, going through the Lens and into the Fleshstone. Alcatraz is completely spent and collapses.
Chapter ∞ + 1
Alcatraz awakes and asks his Grandpa what happened. All the Librarian weapons broke when the Breaking Talent was bestowed to the Knights through Bastille's Fleshstone. The Librarians have retreated and Alcatraz is a national hero. Grandpa asks when the Talents will come back; apparently, Alcatraz also broke the Smedry Talents. He feels nothing when he tries to break his bed frame. He doesn't know what he's done.
Alcatraz receives many Mokian visitors, thanking him for saving their city. Shasta visits and reveals that she stayed behind to be re-captured. She thinks that Attica has gone to the Highbrary (aka the Library of Congress) in Washington D.C., where there are some books in the Forgotten Language. Alcatraz decides to go with her, demanding that Grandpa be allowed to come along as well. He's not so keen on the idea, and he suggests that they sleep on it. But he does agree that Attica must be stopped.
Change is scary.