The next morning, the Men of Real Talent set themselves at the task of preparing for the imminent assault by Mo’s forces. Gruda obtained a powerful herbicide and spread it around the basement to ensure that the expected Wildshifting attack would go nowhere, then headed to the sewers with Jonakin to head off the attackers.
Meanwhile, Elleia passed by Eustice on her way out the door and pretended not to remember who he was. Incensed, Eustice grabbed her, removed his ponytail and unbuttoned his shirt, trying to impress her as much as possible. She continued to pretend not to remember him and casually dismissed his seuxal advances. Iolanthe stepped in and tried to defend him, showing that she “possessed” Eustice. [Mindy, on Elleia pretending to not remember Eustice: “She’s just asking to be raped in the back-alley”].
Iolanthe, keeping in mind that their goal was to keep Elleia and Arrulio in the Curia so that they might call off their attack (or at least warn Parliament), did her best to hold Elleia up, but lost ground once Arrulio came in and insisted on dragging Elleia away. His unattainable woman leaving, Eustice threw a tantrum, ranting about the unfairness of it all. Iolanthe took advantage of this and got Eustice to race after Elleia and “remind her” of the dinner they had planned (all a fiction). Lord Useless’s “subtle” dialogue made Arrulio think that he was discussing the terrorist attack and not an innocuous dinner. Eustice left a calling card in Elleia’s cleavage, and she and Arrulio left, their trust shaken.
In the sewers, Jonakin hid in a pipe while Grude covered herself in refuse, both waiting for the revolutionaries to arrive. They finally did, a handful of Rurals and Kipmen, with one Worldshaper who slowly began to open a hole in the wall. Jonakin and Gruda chose this moment to attack, Jonakin using her Bloodshifting to make the revolutionaries smell like rotting meat, attracting rats and insects like nobody’s business. Jonakin’s new status as the Pied Piper of the City of Lives kept the revolutionaries busy, though a terrorist Wildshifter grew massive plants to defend himself, that began killing off Jonakin’s rats before insects arrived to try and eat the plants. Meanwhile, Jonakin tried to attack from within her safe hiding spot in the pipe with a blowgun, with little success, the darts bouncing off the inside of the pipe.
Gruda came in swinging with an axe, trying to avoid hurting her hands on the revolutionaries’ thorny flesh. However, her lack of familiarity with the weapon led to her getting disarmed, and the revolutionary threw her axe into one of Jonakin’s rat swarms. Deciding to keep to her strengths, Gruda reverted to fisticuffs, punching one revolutionary so hard a rib snapped and pierced his heart.
Upstairs, Iolanthe left a distracted Eustice mooning over Elleia and headed to the library to see if she could find a trace of the two conspirators. She located where they had been talking, then discovered a book that proved to be a trigger to a hidden door. Inside, she discovered an old Promethean man working at an alchemical table. He asked who she was, and if she had come to take possession of “the potion,” which “wasn’t quite done yet.” She said she was, and confirmed that she knew “where to put it” (figuring it must be potion to re-ignite the anti-Nullcrafting enchantment in the basement.