031. Ouija

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In the aftermath of Beltaine, the motley faces an old threat… and a new reality.

"Have you ever played with an Ouija board? There's always someone moving the pointer."

The morning after Beltaine dawns, and the motley make their way into the Exhaust, some (Patches) a little worse for wear. Patches and Sophia ask Sir Xaeron about his evening, and learn that he spent the night with Incisor, who promptly left him alone. She had, however, provided breakfast for everyone. Braum tries to get more information about Aria out of Zistor, but he only brags about being the "most accomplished" when asked why Aria might have followed him up to Cross' Shadow.

The sidhe herself enters the Exhaust after Zistor heads out, absentmindedly stealing Patches' coffee and staring off into space. In her very roundabout way, she explains to the motley that she had found herself lost in the Dreaming after a "night of cold" when she got scared and ran away. Zistor, hunting for a colossus, had instead found her and rescued her. She apologizes for "breaking Zistor's silence," but refers to him as an angel as she floats away. The motley is incredulous that Aria may have possibly been lost on the Night of Iron Knives so long ago, but gain a newfound respect for Zistor.

Sophia's phone rings: she puts it on speaker as Talus informs them that Fala seems to be wandering around outside The Spark! Braum rushes downstairs to head off Sir Xaeron and Aria, while Patches heads out to the garden to reconnoiter. Sophia stays on the phone with Talus, who tells her that "the pieces are falling into place". When she asks what he's planning, he laughs, telling her that he no longer needs Zistor in order to rebuild the rocket… and this time, he'll do it properly. Patches manages to sight Talus in a vehicle parked just up the street, and shoots out his tires. At the same moment, Braum steps out of the building to see Fala casting what seems to be a large cantrip on the Spark. He tries to break her focus, but fails as she manages to open a trod!

As Talus' tires blow out, he asks Sophia to pass along a message for him: "tell Zistor I still love him". He chuckles to himself, and asks Sophia whether she would consider helping him in exchange for Braum's life. When she hesitates, he tells her: "Too late!" as the line goes dead.

Out on the street, Braum causes a huge gust of wind to erupt from Fala's portal, knocking her back and down. At that instant, he is hit in the shoulder with a cold iron bolt, searing him with pain and causing him to forget Kay's name for a moment. Patches gives chase to Talus by leaping off the Spark's balcony to the street below, using Hopscotch to bounce off the building onto the next roof! Fala grapples with Braum, and manages to save him from a second bolt. They tumble together into the trod as Sophia rushes out of the Spark and Patches follows Talus to Alexis Nihon mall. Sophia imbues an Egg McMuffin with the Well of Life as Patches finds the cold iron crossbow abandoned and smashes it to pieces. The two follow Fala and Braum into the portal as it slams shut behind them.

The motley find themselves in an apple orchard with a silver path stretching out before them, leading to a mountain far in the distance; back the way they came the path seems to drop off the edge of a cliff. The motley confronts Fala, who defends herself by asking Braum what would have happened had she not been there to save him from Talus. The eshu is their only way out of the Dreaming, and demands their help before offering hers. She explains her side of the story from the day the attack on the Duchess Eloyse was carried out: she swore oaths of fealty to King Meilge, the King of Willows, but doesn't want any part in murder or assassination. Meilge opposes the High King David's plans in Concordia, and apparently will stop at nothing to undermine him. Sophia expresses her doubt as to why Meilge would target the Duchy of Many Rivers, or would he want to put Duke Granville back in power; Fala doesn't know his motives, but only his next target: Sophia.

Fala has unknown orders to carry out in a matter of hours, and hopes the motley will be far away by then: she suggests they head through the Dreaming, along the Silver Path, to Seattle, where they can find the House Liam Freehold of the Sapphire Eye. Sophia believes she may be able to get them there, provided they can get through the Dreaming; she and Patches veto Braum's suggestion to bring Fala with them to open a trod at the other end, hoping instead to solicit help from the creatures of the Dreaming.

They set out along the path, leaving Fala behind and heading deeper into the Dreaming. They encounter a small blob-like creature, Hirgo, who claims to have once been a mighty warrior, but now seems to have a broken paw/hand. When Patches splints his arm and offers him a small nail as a weapon, Hirgo excitedly offers to show them the way, and, mounting Braum's head like a horse, points forward: "Charge!"

And as the motley is discovered missing from The Spark without even having left a note as to their whereabouts, Talus sits on a train, thinking hard….

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