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The members of the Red Branch embark on their challenge.

"Today, you will be tested."

It is the day of High Queen Lenore's test for the members of the once-proud Red Branch, as crafted by both her and Lady Sophia. Braum is apprehensive, but confident in the abilities, strength, and bravery of his compatriots. He, Kyoko, Claude, Xaeron, Helena, and Fala are led into the throne room's antechamber, where three larged, hooded figures wait. They each wield a massive hammer, and indicate for the team to stand atop a massive golden clock face; when they do, it is shattered by the hammers.

Suddenly, the team find themselves back at the doomed mission to attack Abford Pharma and recover Kyoko. Alongside them are Celyan and Kay, unchanged, asking why they are all acting strangely. "Has the mission changed?" Kay wants to know. Braum privately tells Fala that he believes the test is to relive the trauma of their mission and try to change the past; he asks her to defend Celyan against assailants at all costs. Braum tries to let Kay know that they all have a "hunch", which she interprets as the team having had access to some Soothsay. Braum demands that Kay let him know if she gets into trouble, and then races upstairs to assist Xaeron and Helena. The latter is in the midst of hacking Abford terminals, claiming that she can get access to even more information than they had last time, allowing them to set them back even further; Abford security start to smash the doors in with cold iron shields and rams.

Braum buys Xaeron as much time as he can by hurling filing cabinets into the assailants, until the sidhe begs him to go to Kay, claiming he can "handle the rest". Braum races back downstairs to find Celyan and Fala under attack, with security guards wielding cold iron weapons bearing down on Kay. On the other side of the room, cages with various test animals are slowly being submerged in water… including one containing a Fae in bunny form. Braum charges towards the cages, tossing some to higher ground, and ripping the lock of Kyoko's, hurling her towards Kay as she transforms back into her human form.

Braum tries to empower Kay to fight off the assailants before he arrives on the scene, but she is cut with cold iron. Kyoko, too, takes a cold iron crossbow bolt to the chest, pinning her to the wall. Braum's rage kicks in, and he finishes off the attackers viciously and ferociously, and is left alone with two dying lovers, one new, and one old. Braum knows he will only have time to save one, and both urge him to the other; Braum apologizes to Kyoko, but takes Kay out to the van, where he reunites with Claude and Helena. Xaeron has been captured; Fala, Celyan, and Kyoko are dead. Was this mission successful, or did the sacrifices outweigh the victory?

The team awaken suddenly in their own beds, and understand that they were not sent back in time, but rather into a collective recollection of the assault in their memories. Coming out of their rooms one by one, they discover that everyone is alive and well… although Xaeron, Fala, and especially Kyoko seem to lived through some of the trauma of dying a Fae Death in their dream. The team step together through to the throne room, where court has been assembled. High Queen Lenore stands before them, and asks "the one who brought the petition to step forward": Braum moves up, and the rest of his team step up too to flank him. The High Queen declares that the Red Branch was an organization devoted to her father, High King David, and that it no longer exists. Without a shadow of a doubt, however, those assembled before her have proven their worth to carry her name out into the world and combat the forces of Banality and evil. She presents each member in turn with an extremely finely-woven braid of gold, and induct them into the Golden Braid! All the Kithain in the throne room, all save one haughty Gwydion….

Lenore leaves two more braids in the care of Braum, which he knows are due to the resting places of Kay and Celyan. Finally having accomplished his destiny, what lies ahead for the new companions?