If Chapter VI was all Rorschach, now it’s Nite Owl and Silk Spectre time. In Nite Owl’s basement workshop, sparks fly. No, really. Laurie ignites a flamethrower.
The two of them are on edge, as costumed heroes are dropping like flies (the Comedian is dead, Dr. Manhattan on Mars, Veidt was almost shot, and Rorschach in custody).
Laurie is impressed with Dan’s airship and equipment (elbow nudge, elbow nudge).
We learn his father was a rich banker whose resources allowed Dan to study Aeronautics and Zoology at Harvard. Yes, even superheroes have to take the SAT.
Dan and Laurie climb onto Archie, the Nite Owl’s airship, named after Archimedes, Merlin’s pet owl in Disney’s Sword in the Stone.
Dan thinks it all seems childish, but Laurie’s on board. Dan regrets the failure of the Crimebusters, his one chance at joining a new Knights of the Round Table.
He admits his loneliness, as does Laurie, whose only friend until now has been Jon (Dr. Manhattan).
Back upstairs again, Dan and Laurie debate the masked-killer conspiracy and watch the news on TV, where all coverage centers on three stories: the Rorschach case, the escalating tug-of-war between America and Russia, and the disappearance of writer Max Shea (see Chapter E).
Enough small talk. Laurie makes a move on Dan, and they kiss on the couch.
After the commercial break there’s a charity gymnastics show by Veidt, who’s slick and strong while Dan fumbles around.
Eventually, Dan gives up, due to performance anxiety.
Later, Dan’s more suave in his dreams, although a nuclear blast interrupts things even in fantasyland. He wakes up at 3 a.m. and walks down naked to his workshop, feeling über-lame and past his prime.
Laurie joins him, and they decide to chase the old thrill one last time. They suit up and take Archie for a spin.
Over there, what’s that? Oh no, a tenement fire.
Luckily there are two superheroes ready to break the Keene Act and save all the residents.
Dan and Laurie get their blood flowing, save the day, and have enough energy afterward to celebrate from Archie’s perch, both in and out of costume.
And voila, Dan’s a new man, the kind who decides they should go break Rorschach out of jail.
Chapter Postscript: I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls. My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat. –JOB chapter 30, verses 29-30