After they drew Pete up out of the grave MacPherson and Renee had cruelly dug for him, Myka carefully pulled him into her arms and held onto him tightly, almost as if she believed that in moments he was going to fade away, while he struggled to remain conscious. She could feel tremors shake throughout his entire body and he felt cold to her touch.
Pete struggled as he tried to make out the words, "It wa… was Mac… Ma… MacPh…"
Myka moved one of her hands and gently placed it on the side of his face as she whispered, "It's all right, Pete. We already know that MacPherson's the one behind all this. We're going to find him and stop him just like before, but right now, you need to focus on yourself; focus on getting better."
"Myka's ri… she's right," Artie replied softly as he began to thoroughly check Pete's vitals and then looked up fearfully between Myka, Claudia, and Steve.
"What is it, Artie?" Claudia asked. "What's wrong with him? Why is he so cold?"
Artie looked back down at Pete as he responded, "It's like James said. Raising the dead has consequences and he knew that, which is why he found someone to use in order to draw out someone, who had the access to pull this off; someone, who would be the one to suffer those consequences. Pete's body is shutting down. It's only a matter of time before death finds him, unless… unless we find out how we can reverse this."
Pete's eyes closed as his body lulled into unconsciousness once again, then Myka spoke up again as she asked coldly, "What do we have to do?"
"First, we need to get him back to Leena's," Artie answered. "On our way back, I'll call Vanessa. Hopefully, she'll be able to keep him alive long enough for us to hunt MacPherson and our thieves down."
"Christine wasn't with them," Steve spoke up. "You don't think…?"
Claudia interrupted, "I'll bet you they killed her. She was young and as Myka said, cocky. She probably became the third wheel and so they decided to get rid of her."
As he and the others helped lift Pete off of the ground, Artie nodded and then replied, "You're probably right. We'll figure this out. I promise, Myka."
As soon as they got back into their vehicle and sped off, Renee quickly turned to look over at MacPherson and as she struggled to get her breath back from running, she asked in confusion, "Why'd we just run? We didn't get what we came here for and now they've got Agent Lattimer back. We've got nothing to bargain with!"
"On the contrary, Renee," James responded. "We've still got Rasputin's skull and prayer rope. Lattimer is still connected to them both and unless his friends get them back and neutralize them, he will die. His life is in our hands and they know it, which means…"
"Which means that they'll do anything to get their hands on our artifacts, including trade them for whatever we want," Renee continued smugly.
"Arthur won't take this lightly, nor will Agent Bering," MacPherson stated. "They'll do whatever they can to save him, but they won't give up any artifacts that have the power to harm others, which is all of them. They all have a downside. We must think hard about how we're going to use Lattimer's failing health to our advantage."
Fifteen minutes later…
As soon as they arrived back at Leena's, in record time, Myka, Steve, and Claudia helped each other carry Pete inside and worked their way up to Pete's room, then laid him down on his bed and covered him up in hope that they would be able to warm him. As they did so, Jane swiftly came in behind them and pushed her way through to her son's bedside, not caring that fear for Pete's life came across, the Regents being known for never allowing their emotions to show.
She rubbed her hands across Pete's face and neck and then as she took one of his hands in her own, keeping her other on his forehead, she looked up between both Artie and Myka and asked, "Were you not able to recover the artifacts that caused this? How could two thieves know so much about us?"
Artie looked down as Jane continued to look angrily between them for answers and then Myka finally spoke up as she answered sadly, "It's because MacPherson's the one behind this, not them."
"MacPherson?" Jane cried out in shock. "But that's impos… Why would they want to resurrect James MacPherson? What happened out there?"
"James had one up on us," Artie replied. "They buried Pete alive and in order to save him, we had to let them escape after a fight broke out. They've still got the artifacts, but I promise you, Jane, we will find them and we will do whatever it takes to save your son."
Jane spoke up again as she asked sadly, "How long does he have before the effects of the skull and prayer rope kill him?"
Artie responded again, "I don't know, but I'm sure there are some of our artifacts that we can use to delay the effects if we have to."
"Artie's right," Myka said. "We've used other artifacts to save each of us before; P.T. Barnum's top, the snow globe, Studio 54's disco ball… Artie, do you know of something we can use to help Pete?"
"I don't know, Myka," Artie answered. "I don't know, but Vanessa will be here soon and you know that she'll take good care of him. Right now, it's our job to track down MacPherson, as well as to figure out absolutely everything else there is to know about the skull and prayer rope. Pete's still connected to these artifacts and unless we know exactly how to neutralize them, we may only make things worse. The prayer rope shouldn't be a problem, but the skull…."
Steve spoke up saying, "We only have limited information on the skull. What I shared with you earlier was all that there was in that book."
Mrs. Frederic replied, "Then, we need to find someone, who knows all there is about the skull. Jane, you and I need to go and speak with the other Regents. One of them must know what we need to know."
"I can't leave my son," Jane responded as she looked down at Pete again.
"I'm going to need you if we're going to get the help we need, Jane," Mrs. Frederic spoke again. "You have more influence over the others than I do."
Myka moved forward and took a seat on the bed on his other side and then answered, "Don't worry, Ma'am. I'll stay with him. We'll all take turns so that he won't be left alone. Pete was here for me when Man Ray's camera nearly killed me."
Claudia added, "We're always here for each other. We always win after we're done kicking the bad guys' butts. MacPherson's toast and so is whoever this Renee Travelers is. Perhaps if we find out more about her background and make the connection between her and MacPsycho, then we'll be able to find out where they went."
"Yes, excellent work, Claudia," Artie replied. "You get on that. Steve and I will take care of the rest."
"That's right," Steve agreed. "I don't have many friends and I'm certainly not about to lose one to this, MacPsycho, as Claudia so loves to call this guy, but just so that I'm clear, are we going to try to bring him in alive, or are we going to kill him?"
Artie answered firmly, "As I said, whatever it takes."