While Will is in Liberia attempting to help that country's Sanctuary stabilize itself within the new, covert mode of operating, renegades knock him out cold and steal everything he has. His Liberian contact ushers him to a safe haven where he can recuperate, but during the two days that he's unconscious he relives powerful memories of his mother's violent death and his father's subsequent fall from grace. Will's father gambled his way into business fraud and finally prison, causing a rift between the two men that the intervening seven years could not mend.
In Old City, Magnus encounters old acquaintances - bewinged Abnormals - on her roof begging for help for an injury. But true to his nature, Bruno convinced his girlfriend, Shiela, to fake the hurt so they could steal stun guns from the Sanctuary for their own operation.
Magnus doesn't trust these two scam artists, but she needs their help - they've told her of a red list shipment coming in to the city and these two are critical to the safe delivery of the Abnormals therein. They might have left out one tiny little addition to this shipment, however: a stack of diamonds that could buy a small country. Their cover story - that they need the diamonds to buy illegal arms, which they will, in turn, trade for orphans - smells like a lie. The arms part, however, checks out, and since Magnus doesn't want these weapons - specifically designed by SCIU to harm Abnormals - to fall into the wrong hands, she once again allies herself with Bruno and Shiela.
The more fool, she! When the diamonds-for-arms tradeoff goes south, so do the bird-people, taking the weapons with them as they go. It doesn't take Magnus long to catch up to them and reclaim the powerful weapons, but both parties are left dissatisfied: The birds are stuck on this "orphan" idea, and Magnus can't shake it, either.
Henry wants nothing more to do with the two squawking cons, but Magnus has him dig deeper into the possibility of Abnormal orphans reaching Old City. Just in time, Henry discovers the truth, and he and Magnus rush to an underground lair where who should they find but Bruno and Sheila, valiantly attempting to free the Abnormal children before they're sold into slavery. A few choice stun gun hits and the slave trader and his henchmen are done in. Bruno and Sheila are filled with gratitude, and, after thanking Magnus, rush to the cage where the orphans are huddled. Slowly, the children venture from the cell and, standing in the center of the room, fan their magnificent wings. Magnus sees what so strongly motivated Bruno and Sheila - these children are their own kind.
After careful ministration and lots of rest, Will recovers and returns to the Sanctuary, just a few days after his birthday. Magnus had planned a surprise dinner at Alfredo's, but after Will's fever dreams, he only has one wish: To reconcile with his father. He begs off the evening of festivities in favor of reconnecting with this complex man, and rebuilding a relationship that is worth the effort.
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