The group wakes up in the north-of-Boston safehouse. Molly’s making pancakes (burning about a quarter of them) while Aeryn and Harry chat about Firefly and the relative merits of Zoe and Mal. D’Argo snags a pile of syrup-covered pancakes, cutting an imposing figure for the diminutive Molly, then joins the conversation. Crichton eventually wanders down as well, acquires pancakes, and starts the story-telling about Boston and its fate. Harry doesn’t have any big ideas, so he suggests visiting the White Council’s HQ in Edinburgh via the Ways. D’Argo, bored, slips away to help Molly with the dishes, asking about and getting some info on Harry in the process. When Harry and crew come into the kitchen, Molly pales a bit at the prospect of going back to the Council HQ, but doesn’t have other ideas.
The crew checks up on Mark, who’s at least not in immediate danger. Harry suggests a spell to reduce his weight so D’Argo can carry him through the Ways. Molly and Harry work together to draw the circle, then Harry has her do the spell alone. She slowly gathers her thoughts and works through casting the spell – failing at the last moment and taking a pile of backlash. Harry grabs a giant bottle of ibuprofen for Molly, leaving Crichton to finish the spell easily. D’Argo grabs Mark and Harry leads the group on a few blocks’ jaunt, then opens a rift into the Nevernever.
The Nevernever is schizophrenic and weird. Partway through the group comes across a camp of vaguely-humanoids and their vaguely-quadrupedal mounts, but wisely decides to skirt them unnoticed.
Arriving at the Council HQ, Harry waves away the Wardens at the initial checkpoint and brings the group inside – but can’t resist a little showmanship and “Welcome to the White Council, mwahahaha” as they enter. There are few wizards in evidence in the speaking hall. Harry bothers Peabody who’s at his writing desk. Peabody mentions that emissaries have come from Summer and Winter, in the Senior Council’s reception hall (the ostentatiatory). Harry leads the group inside briefly to see Arthur Langtry, the Merlin, onstage giving flowery speeches to a man in green and a woman in blue. The group sidesteps the whole thing and heads to the Senior Council’s living quarters where Harry beats on a door until he gets a response. The group meets Ebenezer McCoy, famed mega-hick, Senior Council Wizard, and Harry’s mentor-master. They relate the same story again. McCoy asks a few pointed questions and from the gruff’s testimony extrapolates that the Summer Queen Titania is probably behind things, or at least the faeries’ presence. Harry suddenly remembers Mark’s state and points it out. McCoy berates the group for their priorities then takes D’Argo and Mark to the Warden’s clinic while the rest head back into the hall.
D’Argo and McCoy chat on the way, McCoy asking about D’Argo’s history and so on, D’Argo asking about Harry and Molly, then about shapeshifting and its possibilities. McCoy promises to introduce D’Argo to Listens to Wind later on. They drop off Mark at the clinic, who intend to have him conscious within a few hours, and head back to the hall. The emissaries greet the Council. Summer’s lines of communication have been cut and the emissary is gently requesting aid from the Council and offering basic cooperation in discerning the fate of Boston. Winter is present, but not offering any new information – playing it close to the vest as always.
The group decides – with D’Argo’s decisive vote – the best course is to go straight into Summer and find someone who has any real information about Titania and whatever the fuck, and to offer their services in reestablishing communications and gathering new info in exchange for backup and any info the Summers acquire. They grab some food, then talk to Mark who has some smart-ass words for Harry, his commander. Harry muses on the way out that Mark, who he calls “Marcus,” is always friendly and talkative but never divulges much about himself. Then the group sets off into Faerie.
A few minutes after they enter Summer, Crichton spots a cloud of pixies, one of whom zooms down and stops in front of Harry. Harry calls it Toot-Toot and is confused. Toot explains that since it’s Summer now, the wyldfae are hanging out on this side of town. Harry asks to be guided to someone in the Summer Court. Toot leads them to a spot – where they are suddenly ambushed by a handful of dog-boar-beasts, one of which tackles Rygel. Crichton mounts a berm around the group to slow their advance. They hesitate but eventually come in a pack. Mouse bashes the dog-beasts left and right, protecting Rygel – who is fast befriending the dog and lending moral support – and Harry. Molly disappears immediately. The rest of the crew fight as they usually do. Near the end Crichton blasts one of the dogboars with mental magic, breaking its will and enthralling it as a pet. When they all are dispatched, a pair of mounted Summer faeries emerges, stating that they sent the hunting dogboars after the mortals as a bit of sport, and found it quite entertaining. Rygel speaks up as mediator. In exchange for new information about the Winter and Summer envoys, and their speech to the Council, they agree to escort the group to the Summer Court proper.