A montage first to see what our heroes have been up to during the gap. Each has experienced some strange things since the battle with Tribune.
Fulcrum has started hearing voices, or to be correct his own voice, telling him things about his role as an agent of the Authority and making clear that there are still more powers to be unlocked from the ring.
Pyriel has been watching. Watching humanity, and has developed the ability to escape the notice of passers by in order to better do this. He continues also to look for someone that can translate the writings. Pyriel has adopted a ginger kitten called spot.
Vortex has started seeing things. It seems that he is seeing the spirit forces behind reality itself, the great wings of night for example or a fiery chariot for the sun. This is clearly worrying.
They turn to Professor Julian Caius for help. The professor raises the possibility of a medical problem of some sort. Strings are pulled and a scan is arranged. The man ahead of Vortex on the list dies in the scanner when his head explodes. It’s the 23rd December.
The others are patrolling when the sound of gunfire draws their attention to a poker game going wrong in a hotel bedroom just across the street from their rooftop. One of the players leaps from the window. They rescue him and neutralise the gunman. It is clear though when Vortex arrives and sees through the illusion that the “man” they have rescued is a robot of some kind called Frank . Frank is keen on earthy pursuits and in a nearby strip club they learn that he has escaped from somewhere in Virginia and is keen to avoid going back. The tinfoil lining his hat is to prevent his captors locating him. Frank agrees to stay with Pyriel for now. Understandably Vortex is anxious to discuss his situation. He managed to pinch the wallet of the dead man. The deceased appears to have been a well to do young man with a taste for expensive things including a black powder that Pyriel rubs on his gums before the stripper names it as black snow and Frank identifies it as nanite enhanced cocaine. They recall seeing this powder before at a night club run by the russian mob. Frank informs them that only a couple of individuals have the know how to create something like this; Overmind and Metalguru being the most likely culprits.
We end on a view of a large room in some factory where masked workers process the powder under the watch of a large humanoid figure seemingly made up of metal junk.