Tarken plots to fake an assassination of Calchas following the latter’s eulogy for Anson Gilligan. Calchas dismisses Vasimir when they disagree over Calchas’s slight of the Gendarmerie. When the Gendarmerie moves to arrest Calchas, he disappears into an increasingly violent crowd of Pentium citizens while N’ru obtains an “attar flesh-sack” from Tarken. Tarken destroys the sack with his Entropy rifle, is arrested, and meets Vera in Gendarmerie custody. Using information given to her by the late Quosuv Schun, they escape and rendezvous with Transit and Calchas. They cannot contact the Chasing Oblivion, however, and Tarken receives a troubling message from Erebus Graves: Sadren already has taken Protagoras.