"Let's throw all their stuff into the canyon," Iggy said angrily, punching a door frame.

Having to listen to the rest of the flock leaving while he sat around being blind was more than he could stand. "I think even their beds would fit out the hall window."

The Gasman scowled. "I can't believe I have to stay home while they go off and save my own sister."

He kicked a worn red sneaker against the kitchen island. The house seemed empty and too quiet. He found himself listening for Angel's voice, waiting to hear her singing softly or talking to her stuffed animals. He swallowed hard. She was his sister. He was responsible for her.

An open bag of cereal lay on the counter, and he dug out a dry handful and ate it. Suddenly, he picked up the bag of cereal and hurled it at a wall. The bag split open, and Frootios sprayed everywhere.

"This sucks!" the Gasman shouted.

"Oh. did that just occur to you?" Iggy said sarcastically.

"I guess you can't fool the Gasman. He might not look like the sharpest tool in the shed, but-"

"Shut up," said the Gasman, and Iggy raised his eyebrows in surprise. "Look. This sucks so bad. Max left us here 'cause she thought we couldn't keep up."

Iggy's face stiffened.

"But was she thinking about what would happen if the Erasers came back here?" the Gasman asked. "Like, they got Angel not far from here-they saw all the rest of us. So they know we must be somewhere in the area. Why wouldn't they come back for us?"

"Huh," Iggy said thoughtfully. "Course, it would be hard to find this place, and even harder to get to it."

"Not if they have a chopper," the Gasman pointed out. "Which they do."

"Huh," said Iggy, and the Gasman felt proud that he had thought of all this before Iggy had, even though Iggy was older-as old as Max and Fang. Nearly ancient.

"Does that mean we have to sit here and take it?" the Gasman asked, pounding his fist on the counter. "No! We don't have to wait for the Erasers to come get us! We can do stuff! We can make plans. I mean, we're not useless, no matter what Max thinks."

"Right," said Iggy, nodding. He came to sit next to the Gasman at the counter, his feet crunching over dry cereal. "Yeah, I see what you mean. So to speak."

"I mean, we're smart! We're tough as nails! Max might not have thought about keeping the camp safe, but we did, and we can do it."

"Yeah, now you're talking. Uhhh… But how?"

"We could make traps! Do sabotage! Bombs!" The Gasman rubbed his hands together.

Iggy grinned. "Bombs are good. I love bombs. Remember the one from last fall? I almost caused an avalanche."

"That was to make a trail through the woods. Okay. There was a reason for it. Max approved it." The Gasman pawed through a hill of ancient newspapers, piles of junk, someone's old socks, a long-forgotten bowl that had once held some sort of food substance-oops-until he found a slightly oil-stained memo pad.

"Knew it was around here," he muttered, ripping off used sheets. A similar search revealed part of a pencil. "Now. We need a great plan. What are our objectives?"

Iggy groaned. "Oh, no-years of Max influence are taking their toll. You sound just like her. You're, like, a Maxlet. A Maxketeer. A… a…"

The Gasman frowned at Iggy and started writing. "Number one: Make firebombs-for our protection only. Number two: Blow up demonic Erasers when they return." He held the paper up and reread it, then smiled. "Oh, yeah. Now we're getting somewhere. This is for you, Angel!"