-Alphonse notes Diana‘s rune: dimensions-related
-He continues on and locates Bartholomew, gets him to talk to Phillip Kariosi. Ultimately he threatens to take runes, which gets Anderstein to cooperate. Arcturus was listening in, and hears this.
-Alphonse and Anderstein go to visit Kariosi with some ETG thugs, Arcturus hides to look for runes when they’re gone. He disguises himself as a guy that works for the fish place. The ETG thugs in the main room see through it, and tell him to get out, and he eventaully convinces them that he wants to join. They go to look for tom (the dude in who’s next in the chain of command after diana) and he sees the runes while they’re looking for him.
-They get to Tom, who notices Arcturus’ scars, and Tom says that he can join on the condition that he helps them at the warriors competition tomorrow. He accepts, and on his way out jacks the runes. A guy sees him but thought he was trying to steal his fries, so Arcturus gets out.
-On the streets, Alphonse goes with Bartholomew to bully Kariosi. Bartholomew gets straight to business, and Kariosi backs down. Outside they run intoZane Braginsdale, who says that catching Alphonse with thieves will put Alphonse out of a career. Not liking that option, Alphonse initiates a fight. Alphonse swarms him with phantom guards, then Zane hits him with a Tsunami of summoned water. They both get really banged up, Zane ends up with a broken jaw and Alphonse gets concussed. Zane gives up and gets taken prisoner by ETG.
-Pjotlmann and Ollin talk about not killing Viserigon, with Ollin explaining that he wasn’t expecting to have to kill anyone. Pjotlmann talks to Diana about dealing with the semi-failed mission.
-Ollin meets Cristina at the bar, gets some genlock barley wine (a dwarven brand) to impress her.
-They talk about the relative merits ofBarthanas vs Viserigon. Eventually Rick Stern shows up to “assess his skills” for the proving, they go to the fighting square in the Steel District of Eklesa.
-Cristina does some drinking and boasting on Ollin’s behalf on their way over. When they arrive, Ollin and Rick enter the arena, and Cristina operates the levers.
-First they get some uneven terrain, and they go at each other, then Cristina applies some fire. They dance around that, then she adds some smoke. Ollin takes a big beating but doesn’t give up, so Rick calls it and says that Ollin is definitely good enough.
-Ollin talks about his past and recent experiences with kalashek, Cristina and Rick laugh about it. Cristina gives Ollin a healing potion to help with the injuries, and Rick absorbs life from some nearby trees. A Kalashek soldier runs up to Rick and hands him a note. He reads it and smiles, then says that The Combine has taken over Bastion.