With Magnus MIA, the Heads of Sanctuary worldwide fear she might be dead, and appoint Will Head of Sanctuary. But his name doesn’t command the same respect as Helen’s, and as tensions escalate in the ad hoc Abnormal refugee camp in Old City, Will is powerless to stop the Abnormals from rioting and taking several captives, including Biggie and Kate. The violence, incited by the death of tribe leader Fallon, kills many, including insurgency leader Thelo. Thelo’s one-time opponent, Garris, becomes the voice of reason and manages to cool some of the passions flowing through the camp.
Despite the change in tenor, General Villanova of the Lotus Defense Corps and Dr. Lillian Lee at the UN will not be dissuaded from bombing the Abnormals flooding up from three calderas that led to Hollow Earth. The first such attack strikes at the heart of a super-empathic Abnormal, and soon the news of the wholesale slaughter is all over the camp. Henry, who has entered the camp in an attempt to save Biggie and Kate, is able to jam Villanova’s satellite signals and delay the second attack thanks to Abby, who has used her FBI contacts to discover the General’s master plan.
And in the camp, Biggie has discovered something disturbing: Fallon’s body is nowhere to be found, but the murder weapon was in Garris’s tent. Kate uses the newfound trust they earned by delaying the attack to get Garris to entrap Fallon, who had faked her own death in order to provoke the very violence that led to the bombings. They bring the super-empath on the scene and she is able to read Fallon’s mind and understand her full intent: world domination.
The gang in the camp rushes this info to Will and Henry, who are still trying to stymie the Abnormal-aimed aggression. Henry is surprised to see that someone is tracking his espionage, and even more surprised to learn that the surveillance of his surveillance is coming from the Sanctuary. Using a trace, Will is able to pinpoint the exact location of the interloper and discovers none other than their prodigal Magnus. She is mum on her absence and restoration - for now - so she and Will handle the immediate problem and persuade Villanova and the UN to stand down.
The crisis has been averted, but the work is far from over. Fallon will face a tribunal, and Kate will head to Hollow Earth - alongside Garris - to discover the cause behind the destruction of Praxis. Back at home, Helen unspools her tale of waiting 113 years to step back into the Sanctuary, a story that will take patience and a lot of wine to explain.
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