Sophia and Braum find themselves inside a closing trap.
"The moment the secret identity is revealed: sometimes it's the end, and sometimes just the beginning of the end game…."
Braum and Kyoko pull into a parking lot in order to pick up Cog from his mother. After doing his best to convince her of Cog's trip to a NASA camp, Braum notices six white vans in the parking lot. Sensing a trap, he tries to hustle Kyoko and Cog out: before he can react, all six vans fling their doors open, with Changelings streaming out, and van-mounted cannons firing large bolas! Braum ducks under the chain fired towards him, but Kyoko gets hit, slamming to the ground, and wrapped in cold iron. She tries to help Cog hide from the assailants as the thirteen commoner Kithain move in on them: a flashbang goes off, and Braum watches in horror as Cog's mother hits the ground, hard. Cog fires off a Pyretics cantrip, allowing Braum space to stand and tear off his chains with a roar. As he watches Kyoko get dragged away, he manages to give himself and Cog a burst of Hurricane Speed to tear off towards the van. Along the way, he scoops up Kyoko's dropped wedding ring, and Cog hops in the driver's seat; tires squealing, they tear out of the lot and south along the Decarie Expressway. How will they be able to go back for Cog's mother… and where is Kyoko?
Meanwhile, at the new Royal Victoria Hospital, Sophia insists to Zistor that she will find a way to get Xaeron out. She quickly glances over the bag left for her by Kenwyn, and discovers the sidhe still has two more deliveries to make: one to Lady Helena at Homefires, and one to a warehouse in Montreal's north end. She notices that the entrances of the hospital are being covered by security and police officers, and she assigns Zistor the task of getting Kenwyn out while she goes after Sir Xaeron. Using her Elder Form to turn to air, she floats up above the heads of nurses, doctors, and patients, floating towards the emergency room. She sees Sir Xaeron on the operating table, his chest open, and bullets being gingerly removed; simultaneously, four Changelings emerge at the end of the hallway and use cantrips to seal the exits, moving room to room, searching for "him". Sophia distracts the surgery team so she can turn Xaeron to air as well, wafting him up into the air vents above as she desperately tries to escape.
Sophia gets a call from Braum, urging her to meet him out back, through the staff parking lot exit. While she clocks Braum's serious demeanour and insistence, she focuses on keeping Xaeron alive, using strands of her hair imbued with the Well of Life to try to seal his still-open chest. Falling out of the air vent, she pushes past a security guard charged with keeping everyone inside the building, filling herself with Grandeur to convince him of her status as the "founder of the hospital". He lets her go but then abandons his post, causing chaos as people begin to spill outside. Sophia hops into the waiting Winnebago, only to discover that the phone call from Braum was an impersonator! The vicious troll points a crossbow at her, warning her against trying to escape. Sophia takes a moment to breathe, and then, pushing Xaeron's air-form out of the van, surrounds herself with Glamour and transforms into a dragon! Bursting the van's cargo hold open, she takes a couple of cold-iron bolts to the hide as she scoops up the injured sidhe and flies off into the sky.
Sophia slams down onto the roof of Heart's Light and rushes inside with an almost-dead Xaeron: Aubrey alerts Duke Granville, and the two are taken to the balefire to recover. Xaeron is very weak, but after Sophia tells him of her Chrysalis, she forces him to promise to tell her about his Awakening the next morning. The two re-express their love for each other, even as Sophia sings Incisor's praises: Xaeron loved her when she "refused to be claimed", and though Xaeron is everyone's white knight, Incisor is Sophia's.
Meanwhile, Braum gets Cog to exit off the highway and take refuge in an alley. They crash the van, knocking out the young nocker. Braum carries him out of the wreck as the pursuers bear down on him. Braum fights off three of the assailants and then throws a Hollystrike at the van: weakened by the punishment it's already taken, it explodes! Braum uses the distraction to escape, but not before a voice from the wreckage taunts him about the futility of his actions. By fighting for the monarchy, the voice hisses, he is bringing about the Long Winter, but Braum is steadfast. He helps Cog "hotwire" (swear at) a car to get it running, and they join the others at Heart's Light.
Braum sits down with Duke Granville to update him. They receive a message from Halleah, who puts Patches on the line to confirm she's alright. Patches uses the brief moment to tell them to "not do as she says", and that "Talus knows more than he's saying," before the line goes dead. Duke Granville leads Braum to a safe, where he withdraws a cold iron nail, using it to prove his honesty, that there are no cantrips surrounding him. He tells Braum that they will have one day to rest, but then they must leave, in order to keep Heart's Light safe….