Taylor Hebert, Tattletale, and the Simurgh travel to Earth Gimel. There, Tattletale helps Vista and others organize transport routes across Earth Bet. Weaver banters with members of the Undersiders and the Chicago Wards. News breaks that Scion is hitting Earth Samech (A Cauldron controlled Earth), but almost immediately, Scion appears over Gimel. Scion begins decimating the defending force. The Simurgh enters the battle, further terrifying and demoralizing everyone. Through a confluence of events the capes on the battlefield see and remember their trigger events.
Taylor forms a strike team from members of the Chicago wards, Undersiders, and people like Lung, and even Shadow Stalker, parahumans she is familiar with. Making their way to Cauldron's complex, held up by Nix and Spur of Vegas Dark. Walking through the wreck of the complex and cauldron plans they encounter the Irregulars and escape with the aid of The Custodian. Discovering that the base has been breached through Mantellum's help, Canary is able to make sure they don't get caught, Imp rescues [Sveta]]. The Strike team encounters the remnant of Vegas Dark and finds that they, too, are on a mission, to rescue Pretender. The teams fight, and the Strike Team wins, being forced into the secure chamber that Cauldron's leadership fled to, just as Scion arrives, tearing apart the complex.
There they find five Harbingers, the Number Man, Doctor Mother, Manton and Pretender. Doctor Mother has Taylor's team subdued by the Harbingers, and prepares to imbibe a particularly powerful vial in order to hold off Scion. She also explains the purpose of the extreme deviants; their damaged shards were intended to confound Scion's senses and hold him off while Cauldron prepared other measures over the years. As the combined group make their way into the chamber, Scion enters. He shatters every vial, including the one Doctor Mother needed, and damages the complex. It also destroys the Sveta's container freeing the case 53 and her uncontrollable body. Sveta Doctor Mother, as the body has to kill something and crushes Taylor's arm when the hero warns her of the collapsing ceiling.
Sveta flees into central chamber and inadvertently brings Taylor along, bringing them into the central chamber. Where Eden's corpse lies. Traveling across the body Taylor meets up with her team who has survived. Scion comes to the central of the garden of flesh, where Eden's partially-formed avatar rests. The golden man ends Eden's life and immolates the remains, and begins to collapse the entire complex.
Enacting a final gambit Taylor's team coordinates with Sveta and the Cauldron survivors, the Case 53 throws pieces of Eden's still burning corpse at Scion to distract him. The golden man leaves, distraught and angry for the first time. As the ceiling collapses, Golem creates a barrier around the group, and Manton uses the Siberian to make it invulnerable. And pretender carries the result out. They make their way back to Gimel, seeking medical attention for her battered group. The strike team settles in debriefing with Tattletaleand talking with Marquis. Taylor asks for Panacea or Bonesaw to perform some kind of alteration to her Corona pollentia, so she can return to the baatlefield. The chapter ends with Taylor undergoing apotheosis.
Contessa, previously thought dead, reviews her life as she returns to the ruins of cauldron, her life's work. She meets some questionable new allies and learns about the new yet familiar threat.