The motley each face their separate demons.
"I've had people quit on games… Sometimes players quit because their character dies."
Patches and Sophia begin the drive back to The Spark with Dr. Sayley and Claude. While Patches is all business, Claude is despondent, downing a flask of liquor and starting a second before Sophia berates him. While they are happy to hear that the Spark isn't literally under attack, Sophia and Patches contemplate how they'll be able to uncover House Eiluned's motivations behind the takeover. Sophia, still trying to get in touch with their allies, manages to get through to Jonas, who informs them that Duke Granville is currently being summoned north to the Chateau Frontenac to meet with the Duchess Eloyse. When Jonas outright refuses to tell Sophia more about what's going on, the sidhe snaps: "Stop treating me like a child!" Jonas hangs up, and the motley are no closer to Duke Granville.
They return to the Spark, but not before Claude excuses himself, nothing that he's too drunk to be of much use today. Sophia and Patches are anxious about what they'll find in the Exhaust; stepping out of the elevator, they are met by Count Rene, an incredibly beautiful sidhe with flowing silver and purple hair… perhaps even on par with Sophia's unearthly beauty. He is very gracious to the two, and explains that he will be keeping everyone on at the Spark, seeing as he was, until very recently, a landless baron with no experience running a freehold. Hearing that he lacks experience in the field, Sophia and Patches earnestly update him on "everything" he needs to know about the Spark… including heavily underlining the threats to its safety, hoping to make him feel in over his head.
Patches calls Zistor, informing him of the new "owner" of the freehold: "Everything will be like it was before, but with a flowery sidhe playing king of the castle." Zistor tells her that he's left the freehold so that they can't compel him to give anything up, but gives a quick "good girl" in reply to Patches promising to remain as the "Steward of the Spark". At the same time, Sophia steps out on the balcony with Incisor, who makes a big show of cussing out the sidhe. She tells Sophia in confidence that she needs to keep up appearances so that the new Eiluned sidhe won't discover that she's Seelie, and that she tried to block their progress in exploring the Spark as best she could. Sophia informs her that "they're playing a new game now", one which will be more polite… and with more backstabbing potential.
Stepping into their office, Kyoko steps in to inform the two that Jonas was discovered dead. His car was found crashed on the road to Quebec City, and he was "desanguinated"…. Patches immediately suspects vampire involvement. Kyoko tells her that Duke Granville seems to have escaped the crash, although he is nowhere to be found. Patches decides to pursue Granville to Quebec City with Kyoko, hopefully able to use the opportunity to learn more from Duchess Eloyse about the supposed "alliance" between the Houses Beaumayn and Eiluned. Sophia, for her part, resolves not to go along, as she feels like "she just got home": Sophia will retake the Spark!
Far away, under a blazing sun and the shade of palm trees, an unenchanted Braum awakens in a motel. He learns that he is just outside Oakland, California, with absolutely no memory of how he got there or why he would be in that part of the world.
His motel phone rings: a man on the other end tells him how concerned "they" have been, and that someone is being sent to collect him. When asked where they intend to take him, the man is incredulous: does he really not remember escaping?
A van with the words Abford Pharma emblazoned on the side picks up Braum and takes him to the Oakland Hospital Psych Ward. Despite promises that he will be seen shortly, Braum is locked in a padded room on the thirteenth floor overnight. In his dreams, a somewhat familiar voice comes to him, telling him that even though he may remember some mundane facts about his life, that her name is the "key" to unlocking his true self.
The next day, Braum's cell door is opened by a guard, telling him to hustle over to Dr. Churley's office. When Braum is predictably curt with him, the guard warns him: "You're lucky we let you back in here, after what you did to that other guy… You popped his eye out, you know that?" Braum is shocked to learn of his own (apparent) incredibly violent actions, and submits, going along to Dr. Churley's office. The doctor, for his part, tries to get Braum to recall what happened. He shows the man a picture of a hospital nurse with eyeball dangling from its socket, and shows him a video of Braum pushing his wife off a bridge into a river. Braum, Dr. Churley explains, was placed in psychiatric care for his own safety and to get better, but that he "can't help Braum if he doesn't want to try". Braum breaks down in tears.
The dream whisper is the only thing keeping him from submitting totally to the doctor's demands: perhaps Braum is different from the others here? He takes an opportunity the next day to escape from captivity: ripping a pipe out of the wall in his cell, he locks two orderlies in his room and takes Dr. Churley hostage. Despite Dr. Churley indicating that the silent alarm has already been tripped, Braum pushes forward, knowing his only way out is down the elevator. Stepping out, he is confronted by three police officers with guns drawn: shoving Dr. Churley into one and throwing the pipe at another, Braum valiantly charges down the hall… but not before being shot in the chest, stopping him cold. Just when the officer is about to put him down for good, they suddenly drop: a man helps Braum up and out into the back of his van. As he drives away, he tells Braum he needs to think hard to remember the key, as Braum notices his single arm on the wheel….