Tensions run high at the Spark as the inhabitants struggle to agree on an Abford Pharma plan of attack.
"…there's always been a sense of time. To what level are we disregarding the urgency?"
Since Yule, the motley has been busy: Braum was trying to get a lead on either Talus or the Masked Assailant, but neither he nor Duke Granville can turn up anything of substance; Patches has been helping out some sailors stranded in Montreal, as well as trying to learn more about the architecture of Abford Pharma; Sophia has been courting James Togot. The latter, however, proves tough to crack: while he is flattered by Sophia's attentions, his interests and lifestyle are incredibly banal, boring her nearly to tears with his hobby of meticulously categorizing rocks.
When Braum hears that Sir Xaeron is not his usual self because he is in "one of his moods", he sets off to find out more about his friend's state of mind. Patches and Sophia commiserate with Kyoko about their lack of success getting the EMP to function the way they hoped it would. The pooka asks them in earnest what they hope to accomplish by breaking into Abford Pharma: do they hope to set the group's work back, or do they want to destroy it entirely? Kyoko also lets them know that when she goes back, it may not be possible for her to leave the well-being of their employees intact… Patches and Sophia are a little apprehensive about Kyoko's vague threat, but decide they need to push forward with their plan. They decide that the best course of action is to force Abford to close for a day, and Patches gets to work designing a package that, if the building's ventilation is reversed, will contaminate the pharmaceutical company's headquarters. Sophia agrees to continue working on James Togot, hoping to "persuade" him into bringing this package into Abford.
Braum discovers Sir Xaeron on the roof of Heart's Light, looking out over the city, windswept hair fluttering dramatically. While Braum doesn't go in for these kinds of theatrics himself, he understands that this may be an expression of Sir Xaeron's pain, and asks him about his troubles. The sidhe admits to his friend that he feels like "half a man": as a member of the Order of Shallot, he believes fervently in the idea of one true love, and knows that he has yet to find it in his life. Braum tries to make him feel better, telling him that he will know when it happens, but Sir Xaeron only regards him sadly: "What if I have already found it, but I could never tell them, as it would just cause them pain?"
It is at that moment that Patches gets a call, and hearing that there was a fire in her building, she dashes off to her apartment with Sophia in tow. Just outside her door are three firefighters, unconscious; inside, a small file folder had been set on fire, and her apartment thoroughly searched. Patches finds Little One huddled in fear on the balcony, her wings having been scratched by cold iron. At that moment, several red Miatas pull up outside the building: "What the fuck, do they have some kind of sponsorship?!" Patches growls as she starts to head down the fire escape. Just as they are about to escape, they hear a thud from the roof above, and a large griffon pokes his head out from over the edge! Introducing himself as Rika, he offers to rescue them, flying them back to The Spark with ease.
As Sophia rushes Little One inside to tend to her wounds, Rika confides in Patches that she has a message from Lady Helena for her: it would seem that the rocket has somehow been hidden inside Little One's mother! Sophia learns from Willow Whispering to Little One that the dragon was attacked by three men, the same three men who had tried to capture her a year earlier when she was saved by Zistor… when she was taken from her mother, Scythe!
Braum returns to The Spark and catches sight of the griffon he rode a decade ago in the Red Branch mission on Abford. In reuniting, Rika offers to bring the troll to the gravesite of his fallen comrade, Celyan. Flying him past the Old Port, they land on a riverbank where a rough stone cairn marks the site of his old comrade's final resting place. Braum removes the rocks, hoping to spark some new memory: although it fails, he does discover an old compact flash drive, prompting him to wonder what information Celyan had on him at the time of his death.
Back at the Spark, Patches storms down to the workshop to confront Zistor about his history with Little One and Scythe. He snaps back that it's true he had been hunting for Scythe in Louisiana when he rescued Little One, but "just because I'm not saying everything doesn't mean I'm lying". Patches accuses him of withholding important information and being untrustworthy; it can't possibly be a coincidence that Little One, the rocket, and Zistor all converge at this point! When Zistor complains that saving his life makes the motley responsible for him, she retaliates with the opinion that it doesn't make them responsible for his problems, though. When Patches demands that he tell her where the rocket is (knowing that it is rumoured to be inside Scythe), he claims to have no idea; when she pushes him again, Zistor evicts her from the Spark, telling her she is not welcome back!