David Whele’s role as one of Vega’s political leaders is being questioned when the Senate calls for an audit of House Whele, based on Whele’s questionable choice to unleash a captured Eight-ball in a cage fight during the Jubilee.
Alex has a hard time coming to terms with his new responsibility and wants to leave the city. His plan is still to take Claire and just go — leave for New Delphi or one of the other human settlements in the Cradle. But Claire knows that her loyalties need to focus on protecting the city now.
Gabriel keeps plotting the second wave of the Extinction War, but not without a good amount of gloating. It may seem surprising, but despite Michael’s contempt of Gabriel’s actions, the two of them still hold secret meetings to go head-to-head on their mutual agendas. Michael still believes Gabriel’s plans of extinguishing mankind are misguided, and doesn’t like hearing that he may not be needed any further, now that the Chosen One has been revealed.
In the heart of Vega, David Whele has a tête-à-tête with Arika, a high-ranking official from the neighboring city of Helena, one of Vega’s allies. He blames Arika for Jeep’s murder, keeping her and her congregation locked away in one of Vega’s prisons. But in all honesty, David admires Arika for her strength and integrity.
However, there’s something that David needs from Arika, and that’s an in with Evelyn, the leader of Helena. Helena owns the only Air Force left on earth, and with an Air Force at the ready, Vega would have a whole new edge to it.
Claire isn’t ready to accept her arranged marriage with William. She’s in love with Alex, and her father knows it. Nevertheless does he believe her sacrifice must be made for the greater good of the city.
Alex’ best friend and fellow Archangel Corps soldier Noma is the one person he can confide in, and they talk about his attachment to Claire when Alex receives new orders. He is reassigned as security detail to House Whele. No doubt part of the Senate’s grand scheme. And when he accepts his assignment, he learns nothing less than that David Whele used to be a tele-evangelist. How fitting.
Michael and Alex have a “talk” up in Michael’s residence — the old Stratosphere tower. Gabriel knows that Alex is the Chosen One, which instantly puts a target on Alex’ back. But as headstrong and mercurial as Alex is, Michael has a hard time getting through to him.
As Alex is starting to make peace with his new role of savior of mankind, he comes to Claire and tells her that he’s prepared to stay in Vega, that there’s a future for them in the city. Together. He spends the night, but when he is about to leave, it turns out one of House Riesen’s servants is a higher angel in league with Gabriel. She attacks Alex, Claire and Bixby, a child and friend of Alex’s whom Claire vouched to protect. Alex manages to defeat the angel, but not before she wounds both Claire and Bixby.
This leads Alex to packing his things, ready to leave the city. He knows that he is putting anyone attached to him in danger, and it’s something that he can’t bear. He takes a car and just drives, Vega disappearing in the rearview mirror.
Meanwhile in the ruins of the Luxor, just outside the walls, General Riesen visits an acquaintance who at first sight appears to be a hooker. But not just any hooker, one that has all the telltale signs of an Eight-ball.