In the aftermath of Samhain, the motley tries to find the freeholders still unaccounted for, and learn much more about them than they bargained for.
"You might be racing to find out that you are the murderer."
The motley returns to The Spark to share their Samhain experiences: Sophia and Patches that they had returned an unconscious Kenwyn to his hotel room and had run into Fala there, and Braum that he had come from the eshu's room, learning that she had indeed forged The Duchess Eloyse's signature on her documents. The three agree that speaking to the Duchess should be their number one priority in order to secure her as an ally, but that they need to ascertain the other freeholders' status first.
After receiving some texts from Marnie and Talus, only Kyoko remains unaccounted for. Braum in particular is worried that by taking her out of the freehold he may have exposed her to danger. Calling Kyoko's phone reveals that she left it in her office, a very uncharacteristic move. As Braum and Sophia decide to head to her last possible location, her phone rings with a call from Zistor Flexx! When Sophia and Braum answer, they hear mostly heavy, laboured breathing from the other end; when Sophia asks if it is indeed Zistor, and whether he is currently in New Orleans, the voice only replies: "where Braum found the rocket". Unsure of what to make of this, but fearing for his safety, the two rejoin Patches in the dungeon. On the way, Kyoko's phone receives a text message from an unknown New York number. It simply says "activated".
Patches has been working on Keypad in order to track the movements of the freeholders in the basement. She learns that no one accessed the dungeon or workshop the day or evening before… except herself. The Keypad tells Patches that the nocker reprogrammed it to be able to "see" the life signs of any being in the basement of The Spark. Safe in the knowledge that Kyoko is not hiding somewhere in The Spark, the motley turn their attention to the balefire, which has started burning a bright purple. Sophia takes this to mean that either Zistor has relinquished control over it, or another noble is somehow "accessing" it remotely. Stepping into the balefire's light, Sophia whispers to it, learning that the balefire still belongs to Zistor, but that the Duchess Eloyse was using it to discover the status of the freeholder… and that he is still alive.
Patches approaches Claude in The Exhaust. Asking point-blank whether the boggan knows anything about Zistor, Braum, and a rocket, he tells her that he didn't expect to be sad when this day came. "I cannot tell you. I am sworn to secrecy." "Fuck your word!" the nocker shoots back, furious at Calude's reticence and what seems to be a wide-ranging conspiracy. The boggan is taken aback, but presents Patches with a glass of Merlot, stirred with a wooden stick; Patches is appreciative but confused by the gesture. When Sophia receives a text from Sir Xaeron pleading with her to "look after my friend" while also being "unable to say anymore", it only adds fuel to the fire, and the motley decides then and there to have another shot at unlocking some of Braum's memories.
That night, in the light of the balefire, Sophia weaves her arts to bring Patches and herself into Braum's dreams. Floating on yellow bricks in a river, the find themselves in a keep in the middle of the desert. Inside the tower, Braum and Rick are again playing games. The child tells Sophia that they always "play for real", with the stakes being Braum's safety: if Rick wins, he keeps Braum safe; if Braum wins, he gets the chance to be reminded of why Rick is protecting him. He challenges Patches to a game. When she asks about their wager, he offers to provide her with information about the rocket if she wins. If he wins, he "gets to cut off your hair and shove it down your throat". Terrified of the child's viciousness nature, Sophia moves to the keep's window, focusing on the horizon. Sensing her plan, Patches agrees to play Snakes & Ladders with Rick, pulling a fake die out of the air to use in the game. Sophia beings to cry, taking the tears from her cheeks and touching Braum, who has had his ears cut off by the other troll; as it begins to rain, Patches starts her game with Rick.
A cheating Patches manages to win the game against Rick before he, noticing the rain, starts to move on Sophia. Counting up until Patches stops him, he promises to cut the sidhe into 29 pieces, and that he will find her. Terrified, Sophia exits Braum's mind, but not before the rain she conjured begins to fill up the desert, rising up towards the keep and freezing over. Rick, true to his word, tells Patches that "Braum found the rocket. It was cold. He only found it because Kay died. He swore he'd find it, and gave it up because he said he would." As Patches begins to leave through the dream portal, he reminds her to warn Sophia that he will "never forgive her," and that he'll "never forget".
Waking up, Braum is struck with an intensely clear memory. He found the rocket, not a vehicle but a small 3" cube, in the basement of a laboratory somewhere in Montreal's West Island, on an industrial campus. As the troll relays this new information, the motley only gains more questions to answer: why is this "rocket" important? Is it still in the basement of this lab? Is it connected to Zistor Flexx? Returning to The Exhaust, the three find Kyoko behind the bar with Claude. "Lady Kyoko, you're alright!" Braum blurts out. Tears in her eyes, Kyoko asks why he called her that. Is it possible he is beginning to remember? Claude and the Lady Kyoko ap Gwydion both reveal to the motley that they are members of the Order of the Red Branch, sworn to keep watch over Braum until he regained his memories!
Kyoko dashes off to her office, and when Sophia follows her, the pooka collapses on her shoulder, weeping. She apologizes for having hurt Sophia, and tells her that she wishes to be able to tell the whole truth to Braum, but the sidhe just consoles her, understanding now her odd relationship towards the knightly troll. Back in The Exhaust, Claude pulls out an incredibly rare bottle of scotch from a safe under the bar: it was a gift to Braum from the High King David himself, kept in trust until "it was time". While Braum mulls over this new status, Claude privately speaks to Patches. She and Sophia should both know that Zistor is not a member of the Red Branch, and that if the two of them choose to stay with Braum, he will have new, dangerous responsibilities. The nocker relays this information to Sophia, both of them concerned about what the future might hold.
Claude brings everyone together to tell them all that the "rocket" was Zistor's invention, but since its power could destabilize The Dreaming, it was retrieved once before by the Red Branch. Now, it seems to be making a reappearance: "We've got at least one last mission in us!"