The motley plans for an attack on Abford Pharma and try to sniff out the traitor.
"Once you are eliminated, you can no longer participate… but if you eliminate no one, you risk the bad guy getting away."
After Lady Helena's revelation about a traitor at The Spark, the motley head back to Cross' Shadow with Claude, Kyoko and Sir Xaeron. The three discuss their next steps: without a clear lead in uncovering the Dauntain, they agree that they should trust no one other than each other with their plans. The three agree to work on finding an "in" at Abford Pharma, at which point they will steal and destroy all research they have on the Kithain and the Dreaming.
Back at the Spark, Patches and Zistor work on creating a "Glamour Rod" to absorb the discharged energy from the Rocket. When Patches tells him about the breach in security, he is naturally pissed at Helena's spying, but denies being an evil warlock. He never intended the rocket to interact with mortals at all, he claims. Patches and Zistor manage to design the Glamour Rod, but actually building it proves challenging for the two nockers.
In the Exhaust, both Sophia and Braum ask Kyoko to research Abford Pharma for them: Braum wants to know whether they hire private security at all, and Sophia hopes to learn of any new employees at the company. Kyoko agrees to learn what she can, but Sophia can sense her extreme anxiety about returning to Abford. Patches reaches out to an old friend at the city planning office, and manages to score access to Abford Pharma's blueprints. Everything seems to be as she remembers it from the rescue mission, except that the basement rooms' drainage system is not present.
Sophia presents Incisor with cupcakes from New York as a bit of a peace offering, and the redcap mentions offhand having heard some banging in the ceiling the night before. At that moment, Kyoko comes back, giving Sophia the contact information of a new Abford employee, James Togot, although she does mention that Braum's plan of joining a private security force won't work. Kaylie enters as well, confirming Incisor's story about metallic banging the night before, but she has more important questions on her mind. She asks Patches a bit about how the Kithain mate: are they betrothed to each other? Must they make "important" matches? Patches and Sophia both do their best to explain that the majority of the Fae believe in freedom, either in sex as an expression of true love, or as a natural force. When Kaylie learns that some nobles may still choose partners in order to preserve bloodlines, she sets off towards the back rooms.
Meanwhile, Braum takes to his room to still his mind and meditate. He re-experiences the moment when he killed Kay to prevent her from dying a Fae death, and he turns on his friend Celyan with his sword Whisper…. At that moment, Kaylie interrupts his memory with a knock on the door. She steps into the room and asks Braum point-blank whether he would like to mate with her, as he, as a noble, would make a great prize for her tribe. Braum stumbles and stutters over his answer, eventually directing Kaylie to Duke Granville's court, where she might have more success.
When Braum tells Kyoko about the incident, she seems thrown by his admission that "mating" with Kaylie would constitute disloyalty. "Your life is your own," she tells Braum. "I had no sway over you in the past, and my heart is open… yours can be too."
When Patches and Sophia decide to investigate the metallic banging sounds from the night before, they take Kaylie up to Sophia's penthouse, Sophia being scared of what (or who) they may find there. Rather than a threat, there is another bouquet of flowers on her desk just like the ones she received at Homefires. No one could have entered her penthouse except her cleaning staff, but she is nervous that the flowers may have been left by a stalker. Patches uses her eidetic taste to determine that the flowers are chimerical, and come from just inside the Dreaming: it is very unlikely Sophia's stalker is a mortal!
Patches takes to the ducts between Sophia's penthouse and the Exhaust, stumbling across a small hammer and a large safe hidden away! Zistor is dragged away from the workshop by Patches, who demands to know the combination. Zistor only rolls his eyes, even when the motley points out that the hidden safe was being kept a secret from them, and that someone probably accessed it recently. When Zistor's combination doesn't work, Patches realizes that someone with the combination must have changed it after tampering with its contents. Climbing back up into the duct, she deftly cracks the safe, and opens it to reveal… a severed arm, rigged up to a mechanical contraption circulating blood and oxygen through it, and marked with a large, glowing, most likely Dauntain sigil.