We begin with Sengar in Servant Larin’s apartment where he just found a servant’s sash. He also notices that next to large portrait of Larin is a framed letter that seems to be a 30th birthday card from her mother dated two years ago. There is a childhood picture of Larin and her siblings in a village Sengar recognizes: Pramlet.
The echo collective comes in with the following info: “There’s a strung-out soma-head in the tenement quarter of Prantis, swears he was a cryptoadmin for the Arachs about ten years ago. Refuses to say anything about them, but I bet he’d do anything for some pure soma.””
Seranious Armada decides to pursue this lead, taking Mystniss along with her. They enter a soma tent in an alleyway within the tenement district. There they convince a junkie to escort them through the tent to find the cryptoadmin. After a short tussle over soma, Seranious gives the junkie half her soma in exchange for his leaving.
Seranious mind writes the junkie with a ferocious intensity, rendering him essentially at his will by convincing him absolutely that he has been a long-standing member of the squad. He tells them many secrets of the Arach crytosecurity system.
Manwhile, Sengar and Rafe Rundlestaff plan to ambush Servant Larin in her home. When she arrives, she kicks Rafe to the ground instantly and restrains Sengar with a bear hug. He claims to work for Uric Arach, showing her compromised status by revealing a portion of her passphrase and the sash he found. He convinces her to join them.