The motley follow up on a lead, and lead themselves into a firefight.
"What happens when you're playing a tournament and you meet up with a friend? It's you… or them."
In The Spark's Exhaust, a tense standoff: Claude is on a knife's edge, holding Patches and the motley at gunpoint. He's spent years, he tells them, keeping Halleah safe from herself, and now he's just supposed to let them go after her? His word is all he has left! Both Patches and Braum each try their own version of diplomacy, wondering if there is another way to work with Claude, rather than against their friend.
Sophia asks Incisor to take decisive action: freeze Claude in stasis! While they both believe that it has to be done, Incisor insists Sophia never admit to Claude that it was her idea: "he idolizes you," she explains. Decision made, Incisor freezes Claude in place, carrying him down to the dungeon. Braum is furious that they would act against their loyal friend this way, and against a member of the Golden Braid, no less! Sophia and Patches are adamant that it is the only way to leave Claude out of the fight while they go after Halleah, and the sidhe tells Braum to "keep his anger". Patches relays what she knows of the prophecy of the coming Long Winter to Braum and Sophia, who is desperate to know more. Sir Xaeron explains that he was the one who performed the "execution" of Halleah initially, and knows how dangerous she is. Patches sets off to repair the defence matrix and perhaps try to track Kyoko, while Sophia is tended to by Dr. Sayley.
The sluagh, while being her usual creepshow-self, does understand that toll that the cold iron wounds are taking on Sophia, and offers to ensure that she doesn't scar. While callously sanding off the sidhe's skin, she does point out that it could have been worse: the weapons used on Sophia seem "new", and therefore aren't quite as destructive as they could have been. The Broken Flight attacks, it seems, were coordinated but perhaps lacking in resources?
Patches learns that Broken Flight sent blackmail photos of the motley's loved ones, and calls her father, Malcolm. The mage is hard at work in his silo on the Macdonald Campus, but understands the need to head to the Spark for his protection: after all, "shitty people" may be after him, too! Ignite leaves Xaeron with Incisor and Cog, and head out to the mysterious address in Montreal's North end specified by Kenwyn's delivery.
The Industrial Warehouse is seemingly abandoned, with an easily-moved wrought-iron fence keeping out the non-existent traffic. Sophia is able to sense some Glamour, and peeks into the warehouse through a window: the only life she can see is a hooded figure, sitting on a conveyor belt. Deciding to impersonate Sir Kenwyn, Patches metamorphoses Sophia into a more masculine version of herself, and she heads in to deliver the letter. From her new vantage point in a tree, Patches can see Sophia heading towards the figure, who turns out to be a bound Selkie with glassy eyes and tattered clothes: he is manacled with light and can only speak in gibberish. Suddenly, the door closes, and Sophia finds herself surrounded by eighteen Kithain brandishing bows or melee weapons! As the leader, a Piskie, advances on her, she presents the letter to him: he, in turn, opens it for the Selkie to read. The cantrip on the letter explodes, setting the Selkie on fire; he can only scream in pain when the piskie asks him "No more prophecies? No more visions?"
Sophia roots herself in stoicism as the rest of her motley spring into action: Patches blasts out a window to create confusion, and Braum charges into the warehouse, bowling over several Kithain as he wraps the burning Selkie in a tarp. Hugging the man to his body and setting himself alight, Braum roars: "I am your worst Nightmare!", casting Terror of the Long Night. Coupled with Patches' cantrip causing all of the windows to seemingly explode inward at that moment, the entirety of the group cowers in abject fear. Sophia douses the magical flames and tries, unsuccessfully, to interrogate the piskie. In the confusion, she drags the Selkie off into the field behind the warehouse.
Patches covers Braum's exit, using Gimmix to literally steal weapons out of the hands of her assailants, until one of them enkindles her rage with Summer, causing her to blindly strafe the Kithain. She continues to swear and fire blindly, getting hit shot and beaten in the process, until Braum is able to carry her away, kicking and screaming. Meanwhile, Sophia is attempting to cure the Selkie of his curse inside a Faerie ring, and even unleashes Spring… but much to the man's shame, nothing seems to be able to help him communicate. Sophia realizes he is under a very powerful Geas, and that this man may hold the key to understanding Broken Flight's motives….