SUROLAM manifests at Kether and provides support for the arch that Hank is currently propping up. With the terrrible sound of an iron key groaning in a stone lock, the geometry of the stonework alters tangibly and Hank is ejected from the structure. Iris, sensing a threat to the network of rainbow bridges that Hank was the centerpiece of, miraculously Preserves the webwork of passages. SUROLAM takes a quiet moment to himself (insomuch as an Imperator can) and takes Hank’s current form in his hand; Hank reaches out across the familia shared mind and pleads for help. Dee springs into action and relays the cry to Hank’s one-time lover Erzule. Reaching through the gate to the unformed Wild that existes in Binah, she begins to assault SUROLAM in a test of wills. Kether begins to shake as the consequence of two trascendent beings grappling for control of Hank…..
Meanwhile in Locus Raphael, Chelsea scrambles to deal with the aftermath of Firkus’ (apparent) death. She pleas with Geb to retrieve her husband, Adam Kadmon, from the custody of the Locust Court. He assures her that Adam is intact; she is less than satisfied by this. Grasping for any aid she can find, she departs for Texaterrestria and arrives on a ship captained by ANANDA does not need this right now”, on top of the desire to keep Hank from carrying through on his threat. Talbot, Medemia, and Chelsea take the hint and withdraw back to Kos, Locus Raphael.in the aftermath of the False Gabriel’s extremely flashy destruction. She beseeches Talbot to have his wife intervene with her familia on Adam Kadmon’s behalf. Talbot agrees and the two of them apport to Cityback, where they find Medemia only moments before multiple instances of Infinity arrive. Infinity beseeches the whole lot of them to get out of Cityback as soon as possible, as “
…where the phone immediately rings as Dee attempts to make contact with the Chancel. Dee leads with his strong suspicious tha Firkus was not killed by Oren’s bullet but does not elaborate on the means of survival. Dee informs Hank (and the rest of the familia) that his son and daughter-in-law are safe, and upon learning this Hank transforms away from his crystalline form into a bird, telling SUROLAM and Erzule “Not here”. Erzule swoops him up in her wings (having matched her paramour’s new form) and the two of them fall away from Kether.
Opting for a future of revenge and murder over an existing as Erzule’s personal boy toy, Hank tells Erzule they must part ways. Erzule takes the form of the woman Hank dreamt of during his decades in prison, kisses him goodbye, and lets him go. First stop on Hank’s tour is Scotland, where he pays a visit to Mister Linus in the Unblemished Guise of Dee.
Hank makes the best case he can for disrupting the miserable status quo between ANANDA and LORD ENTROPY, but in the end Mister Linus’ oath to the Serpent wins out and the two agree to each go their separate ways.
Dee sits alone at a circular table, a ring on his finger, surrounded by the embelems of the new estates seeded during the final pilgrimage from Malkuth to Kether. There is a word to describe what he is now, but it remains known to only him.