Artie is sending Claudia and Pete on one mission and Jinks and Myka on another. Partly so that he can ask Pete to keep an eye on Claudia, since he keeps having that “Claudia stabbing him” vision thing because of the metronome that’s got him rather concerned.
Claudia and Pete are going to see the old computer expert, Hugo. He has Bobby Fischer’s marbles – each of which can give a person massive ambition and drive but prolonged exposure causes violence, insanity and strokes – typical artefact fodder. When he worked for the Warehouse, these were high priority acquisitions for him and he never found them – but someone anonymously fed-exed them to him. Worse, his nephew, Brady, is in a highly competitive school and used one to write a paper for an inter-school event and now the veins on his arm have gone all dark and throbbing, which is probably problematic.
Which is more problematic is that they can’t just goo the marbles because Brady’s a nice kid who shares his toys – and has leant out 4 of them. And for added problem not only do the marbles cause violence but they’re doing so at a school that emphasises stress, tension and competition.
And yes, the students are well and truly losing it, attacking teachers who give them less than perfect grades, attacking students who have done better than them, attacking people to get on competitive teams. And with the black veins reaching his eyes, Brady collapses. They’re all entering close to the stroke zone
And the last marble is in the hands of the headmaster – who is now pursuing his goal. And his goal is to kill the budget cutting school board who he hates so much.
At this point all the marbled students try to stop Hugo and Claudia and need tesla-ing. Hugo also has a moment of doubt because he showed the marbles to his nephew in an attempt to begin recruiting him as a Warehouse agent and now blames himself for all the problems.
They hurry to the gym and discover the headmaster in the furnace room under it, preparing to unleash a toxic gas on the school board – and the entire student body. Pete gets knocked out, wakes up and knocks him out in return (concussions for everyone!) Faced with the daunting task of turning off the furnace, Pete has to use the marble to focus and figure out how to turn it off (seriously? It’s a furnace. Not a nuclear power station).
Marbles are collected and gooed, problem solved!