Johnny swerves out of the way of the pipe bomb almost instinctively. The van goes fishtailing as the bomb is knocked into the side of the road. We crash.
Maribelle screams and we hear the sound of cracking bone. Dill is rendered unconscious. We can hear voices approaching and shouting angrily. A group of hostiles arrives with small arms. We need to get out of this car.
Johnny crawls from the car and takes a bullet to his shoulder which is thankfully armored. KJ follows and a bullet clips her ear. She launches at the closest gunman. Gretchen uses her vainglory glamour to distract the gunmen by insisting she is their superior. Tony launches in from the side with a devastating punch. Joel follows Gretchen’s lead and tries to intimidate the assailants. KJ gets the gun away from her target. We neutralize all the gunman and Tony runs after the fleeing woman that KJ disarmed.
KJ assists Joel in removing Dil and Mirabelle from the car.
Gretchen gets her victim to give her his gun and his coat. She looks through his belongings.
We intimidate the conscious humans. They were working for Chief Herrera. A retired police chief who is gathering supplies for the winter. But we don’t have time to deal with this yet.
We search around for a vehicle and find two large sleds. Having little other option, we take the sleds down the hill towards Santa Cruz. We reach the bottom covered in snow. On the way down KJ spots a figure in the distance watching her. He’s tall with a black mask and long dark coat. He disappears from view before she can make out anymore.
We’re still just outside of town and walk into the city. While crossing under and overpass a large truck approaches driven by Big Vinny. We hop in and ride into town.
KJ sees the man in black again in a crowd of dancers but he quickly vanishes again.
The doctor in Santa Cruz says Mirabelle needs surgery or she may lose her leg. Vinny and Tony go with her to the hospital.
Later, KJ is in her room resting when she wakes to find the man in black standing over her. She jumps up and demands to know who he is and what he wants with her. He introduces himself as Vesper and tells her he has something to show her. He offers to let her bring someone with her but no one else is around so she leaves a note for Gretchen.
KJ and Vesper walk to the docks and find themselves at a warehouse with a rusty chain and lock. They break in and discover clear signs of human trafficking. KJ is fuming and storms into the office. She throws a filing cabinet out of the way and discovers a dumbwaiter that leads down into a secret room filled with iron shackles, most likely meant for restraining changelings. She also finds a Rolodex that is mostly destroyed but has one partial scrap remaining. The last four letters of the client’s name are ‘der’ and the city is Miami.
After leaving through a manhole, Vesper tells KJ he is the herald of Dusk and offers her a place in the Dusk Court. She accepts.
At the hospital, Mirabelle is out of surgery and in a cast. She’ll be able to attend the party but will be loopy from the drugs. Vinny arrives and Gretchen takes him to get dressed. She’s purchased him a new suit for the party. The two of them share a kiss and Vinny is very happy.
The motley meets back up and finishes clothes shopping. KJ tells them about Vesper and the warehouse. They agree to investigate further after the party.
We take a boat to the party. The attendees are almost entirely Changelings with the exception of a few ensorcelled humans. KJ overhears rumors about the Quatraine Kingdom delegation being in town for the party, the duchesses are working the various tables, and Staghart hasn’t arrived yet.
A group of changelings on jet skies arrive and Johnny goes to join them.
Tony runs into Belvedere and he seems unamused that rumors are being spread about him. He tracks the source of the rumors to Gretchen and confronts her.
Johnny runs into Pale Eel and he looks like he’s recently been underwater. Johnny realizes he’s probably planted explosives under the boat. He rides towards the party again.
Meanwhile, Mirabelle accuses Belvedere and he chooses a hedge duel as trial. Tony agrees to be Mirabelle’s champion.
Johnny comes on the loudspeaker and tells everyone we’re about to be blown up.