The motley runs down leads together.
"More and more, artificial intelligence is removing our ability to claim dominion over games."
Incisor and Sophia stand inches apart, having just kissed. "I'm not used to this," Incisor admits, before assuring Sophia that she doesn't think that anybody saw her come up. Sophia reassures Incisor that she doesn't care: "I don't do pity… this only works if you think you deserve it." Incisor simply wants Sophia to be respected, and that by having her, that might be compromised, but the redcap does follow Sophia until her apartment.
As Braum and Kyoko rest and recover from their ordeals, Zistor shows Patches a secret feature of the Spark's workshop: a big red button that Zistor claims will blow the place sky-high, if necessary. Patches also tries out the new feature for her rifle, discovering a new electromagnetic "tracker" mode that allows her to tag targets, making them more vulnerable to metal and unable to hide from her bullets.
The motley reunites in the Exhaust to talk about next moves. Sir Xaeron points out that there has been no news anywhere of Count Rene or King Meilge's deaths, as they are presumably being covered up. This knowledge gives the motley an edge, and they decide to have it put out that Duke Granville didn't survive the vampire attack, even though he is currently convalescing at the Spark, hoping that this news will draw their enemies out.
Sir Xaeron offers to travel to the Kingdom of Apples on behalf of Braum to relate the momentous events of the past week to Lord MacAllistar, as well as to try to secure him an audience with High King David. Fala reports back that she was unable to retrieve the letter delivered to the Bes Din, but at least warned them of its presumed contents; Kaylie tells the Kithain that "the hunt goes well", and that she investigate the site of the vampire attack for more traces of "the parasites".
Figuring that even an advanced Oneiromancer would leave "footprints in the sand", Sophia takes Patches into Braum's dream, hoping to learn more about the mysterious boggan from the Kingdom of Willows. The two find themselves in a white concrete room with a desk, chair, and a couch with manacles: this is the room in the Psych Ward where Braum was kept. The two discover cue cards replete with information from Braum's time there, but as they step out, they find themselves instead on a long dusty road. By manipulating the dreamscape, Sophia puts the boggan at the end of the road back on track to meet them. He tells them that he is simply an echo of the Kithain from the Kingdom of Willows, Braum's recollection of him, but he nonetheless offers to take them to "the one who wants to help", now that Braum has "regained his purpose".
All three (including Braum) suddenly find themselves on the rooftop of a beautiful villa at night, under a small roof. Through the surrounding gauze curtains, they catch sight of a woman sitting on the edge of the building, playing with a bow in her lap. The woman turns to greet them: she is almost otherworldly in her white dress, silver hair, and with her ageless face. The woman tells them that she was summoned by… someone, watching over Braum, to intervene on his behalf. She names herself an agent of Fate, and relates to him the way in which she was able to awaken him from his sleep in the Kingdom of Willows to free himself. She says that her time is almost gone, but that they can find one to help them by following her scent: Patches notes that the woman tastes like a moonlit run on the beach at 3:00 in the morning. The woman stands, and before she leaves, she names herself: she is Starlight Dove, and the three of them "haven't changed that much".