|Date posted||3 July 2012|
Grue is furious at Coil's lack of assistance during the meeting, although Tattletale and Skitter propose that it is maybe the only way he could have played the meeting and that at least he will serve as an undercover agent into the truce on their behalf.
Trickster approaches to shake hands with the Undersiders and express interest in getting to talk with them, since the groups will be working together for the forseeable future. He explains that the Travelers have sent Genesis back in a different form to spy on the meeting and Tattletale reminds the Undersiders that Imp is still there. Trickster questions why Skitter couldn't just listen in with bugs, but she explains that she can't make any sense out of the noise feedback she gets from them. Tattletale brings up the time when Skitter was hospitalised after the fight against Bakuda, when she was able to tell what music someone was listening to outside through bugs, which prompts Skitter to vow to make a fresh attempt at listening through bugs. Trickster proposes the group go to Ballistic's headquarters to have their own discussion about the Nine while they wait for the meeting to end.
As they walk they share information on the currently known potential recuits of the Nine. Miss Militia shared the information at the meeting that Mannequin went after Armsmaster, Regent tells the Travelers about Cherish's nomination of him and Trickster explains that the Travelers have two members who don't see combat and that Crawler had attempted to recruit one of them. The injuries to Fenrir's Chosen and Faultline's Crew suggest visits from Shatterbird and Burnscar respectively, though the nominee's in those teams are not clear and nobody offers any ideas about the nominations of the remaining three members of the Nine. Ballistic leads the group into a devastated parking garage and decends to the bottom floor where his base is hidden. Everyone demasks and sits around the kitchen table, and Trickster sets up a laptop. He talks to someone called Oliver over the computer and asks him to add Noelle to the conversation. As soon as Oliver goes to do so, he mutes the microphone and tells Tattletale that she will need to lie to Noelle about already working on solving her issues and she will need to avoid telling Noelle anything Coil might be keeping from her intentionally.
Noelle appears on the webcam feed and Skitter compares her appearance to an early stage drug addict or someone otherwise ill. Trickster introduces her to the Undersiders, and she quickly pays attention to Tattletale's presence. Tattletale succeeds in satisfying Noelle's questions about being able to help her and Trickster then requests the assistance of "our old field commander" to help strategise on the Slaughterhouse Nine. Trickster describes the Nine with a long, questionably accurate chess analogy and Noelle concludes that the battle is unfair from the start. If the opponents are all cheating, they will need to play in ways the opponents don't want them to.
The group discuss the objectives of the Nine; to recuit their new member and to cause chaos that earns them reputation. Noelle describes them as predators and proposes that they change the game from chess to shogi, an easten variant of chess where it is possible to add pieces you take from the enemy to your side of the field. The parallel drawn here is to Regent, but the team concludes that the only viable targets are Shatterbird and Burnscar since other members Regent's power is likely to work on will know they are obvious targets and take precautions. Oliver speaks up to say that Genesis has woken up and thus will have completed her mission, which serves at the cue for the teams to move to leave the base so they can provide a lift back for Imp.
As the group make their way up, Sundancer fawns over Bastard and Grue questions why Bitch brought him tonight. Bitch explains that it is important that she trains him when he's still dog-like, which Skitter immediately questions and Tattletale makes a realisation from. However, all questions about Bastard are forgotten when four members of the Slaughterhouse Nine make their appearance at the entrance to the garage: Siberian, Bonesaw, Jack Slash and Cherish.
- Tattletale has found a way around imps memory trick.
- The Nine meet the undersiders in the parking lot.
- The desicated monk scenario is a major clue to the travalers identities.