After an eventful brunch complicated by Marta, Jack, Cass, Elena, and Anya find themselves in a Thuul “safe” house. Their Thuul-agent turned friend Lyla Mooney is no where to be seen after taking a mysterious phone call. Anya hacks the Thuul computer located in the safe house and confirms that Thuul fabricated a set of murders and set the group up as the prime suspects. The group decides to take the advice of the Arrowhead leader and meet up with her healer somewhere in the downs.
They head to the address given to them by Arrowhead’s leader. Jack and Elena go forward to investigate, leaving Anya a few blocks away with Cass in case Arrowhead tries anything desperate to take Anya. Jack and Elena scout out the place, an old abandoned pharmacy not two blocks from Elena’s old elementary school. Elena notices an old classmate-Haley-selling drugs on the corner closest to the pharmacy. When Elena confronts her, Haley looks strung out. Elena convinces her to leave, but Haley drops a small bag of red powder on her way out. Meanwhile Jack heads around back to investigate, and notices a man throw out some interesting trash. He approaches and notices only a finger before he is caught red handed. The trash man pulls an axe on him, and a woman appears, holding a gun to his chest.
They force Jack to follow them into the building. The woman shoots Jack, but he absorbs the blow. Faking his own injury, Jack falls to the ground and manages to wrestle his own gun out of its holster. He shoots the large man with the axe in the balls, and the man cries out. Outside, Elena hears the gun shots and screams, and quickly calls Cass and Anya before heading after her friend.
Elena wrenches the door open to find Jack with his gun still trained on the man with the axe. . The man has dropped his axe and his covering his groin, whimpering. A tall man appears, her skin pulled taught to his bones like a skeleton, his head entirely bald, his bony fingers tapping on his sleeve. He convinces Jack and the woman to lower their weapons, and introduces himself as Mr. Shakes. Jack tells Shakes that the man attacked him, so Shakes pulls out a gun and shoots him. The woman screams and runs away, passing Anya and Cass who are on their way inside.
Anya and Cass arrive just as Shakes holsters his weapon. He explains that he has the power of vesisitude like Cass, and that his men are harvesting the homeless population for body parts. He offers to heal Marta, and tells the group the name of his employer, a man called Signus vismond Signus. He preaches at an old abandoned methodist church every night at midnight. Jack takes some of the red powder given to them by Haley and gains super human strength and reflexes.
The adventurers go back to retrieve Marta and drop her off with Shakes. With some time to kill, they go get dinner. Elena separates briefly to contact some of her people in the Downs for information about her family. Jack also goes to visit a woman obsessed with pigeons and see if she heard anything. “Stoop” a boy obsessed with flat earth theories, tells Elena the “IRS” came to her brother’s school.
That night, the group goes to a sermon given by Signus vigmond Signus. He preaches a strange story and gives out the red powder, which Jack takes again. They approach SIgnus after his sermon, and he gives them no more information other than to say he can accept a private meeting with the group the next day.
The group sleeps at Jack’s place. The next day, Elena goes to her brother’s school and his teacher gives them the name of the boys transfer school in Gary, Indiana. The group then goes to their private meeting with Signus. He tells them he wants to clean up the downs and fight the evil group trying to “ruin” it. He says his people are going on a scouting mission to a camp where Elena’s family might be.