Study Guide

Watchmen Chapter X

By Alan Moore

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Chapter X

Two Riders Were Approaching…

  • Via helicopter, President Nixon lands in a super secret underground bunker. A nuclear detonator is chained to his wrist. The situation looks dicey.
  • Along with his generals, he sits and waits to see what the Soviets have up their sleeves.
  • Nite Owl and Rorschach plan to contact Veidt, but first, the escaped convict needs to collect his spare costume and the final draft of his journal.
  • After running into Rorschach’s landlady, a prostitute who reminds him of his mother, we cut to Veidt’s Antarctic base, where he asks his servants about a mysterious delivery.
  • Then, he pets his mutated lynx Bubastis and looks for ways to profit from all the chaos.
  • Meanwhile, Nite Owl and Rorshach disagree about tactics. N.O. thinks Blake was killed because he stumbled upon a secret island and a plot against Dr. Manhattan.
  • Shifty-face prefers the whole mask killer angle. N.O. can’t reconcile why Veidt was targeted, so Shifty-face wins this round.
  • They go off to shake up the criminal underworld.
  • Now it’s Tales from the Black Freighter time. Convinced Davidstown is overrun with zombie pirates, and his family already dead and gone, the marooned sailor seeks only revenge.
  • A rich couple nears on horseback; they look harmless enough but the sailor kills them lest they blow his cover. Yo-ho, yo-ho, no turning back for you.
  • At the newsstand, the older half is talking doomsday as tanks roll into Eastern Europe. The younger half smokes and reads T.B.F.
  • The marooned sailor rides into town dressed like the man he has just killed. To trick the pirates (if there even are any), he props up the dead man’s wife on her horse.
  • Nite Owl and Rorschach enter a seedy bar, looking for info on Veidt’s attempted assassin, Roy Victor Chess. A poor sap admits he gave Chess the gig, thanks to his boss at Pyramid Deliveries, and that ever since, anyone connected to the hit has gotten whacked (see X.15.4).
  • Also, a knot-top tells Nite Owl that Hollis Mason has been murdered. Nite Owl flips out. Rorschach calms him down (role reversal) and the duo heads off to tell Veidt the news.
  • Oh, and by the way, Veidt has a serious Egyptian fetish. Hmm, the plot thickens.
  • Cut to a giant cruise ship with a Pyramid Deliveries logo. Max Shea and all the missing writers, artists, and scientists celebrate the end of their film’s production.
  • Shea and illustrator Hira Manish canoodle below deck. Shea discovers a bomb seconds before it explodes and blows the cruise ship to smithereens. Ruh-roh.
  • Nite Owl and Rorschach head over to Veidt’s office, where everything’s been abandoned. Veidt’s calendar mentions a November 1st departure for Karnak.
  • Nite Owl hacks into Veidt’s computer using the password Rameses II, and discovers Veidt is the CEO of Pyramid Deliveries.
  • He’s the one behind it all. Double ruh-roh!
  • We’re heading for a final showdown at Karnak, Veidt’s Antarctic retreat.
  • Nite Owl and Rorschach jet off in Archie, but not before one last entry from Rorschach’s journal (November 1st, 1985). He spells out the conspiracy as best he can, and mails the journal to an unknown recipient.
  • In the world of T.B.F. the marooned sailor approaches Davidstown.
  • Back in “the real world” a mailman drops off Rorschach’s journal at the New Frontiersman office. Mr. Godrey orders Seymour to place it in the crank file.
  • No time for nonsense when the world’s about to end.
  • High above the clouds in Archie, Nite Owl and Rorschach make their way to Antarctica. After a crash landing, they ride hoverbikes the rest of the way.
  • Veidt, sitting on his throne in Karnak, strokes his chin with one hand and Bubastis with the other. He watches the monitors, transfixed, as his old pals approach.
  • Chapter Postscript: Outside in the distance a wild cat did growl, two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl. –Bob Dylan

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