Chapter 29: Adelice goes into the powder room of the bar to wash up. A group of Sunrunners takes notice of Adelice as she walks across the bar. Shortly after this, Dante shows up at the bar. Dante apologizes for the harsh remarks he made towards Erik, but finds it hard to trust a Guild-trained Tailor. Dante wants to show them something, and gestures them to follow him down a narrow alley wedged between buildings. They stop at a dumpster; Dante pushes a stone and it sinks back into the wall as a slab slides over, revealing a hidden door. He takes them inside to a parked crawler. They take the crawler through a tunnel to a bustling ship dock, where a large glass dome rises overhead, through which they are able to see the Interface. They are at the ocean, infinite and black, and see workers running back and forth – and they see Jax. They meet the woman from the night of the crashed aeroship, whose name is Falon. Falon and Dante have a private conversation, and when they return Falon says that Dante has caught her up to speed on everything. Dante reveals that Kincaid does not know about the loophole operation at the ship docks. Adelice sees many people, of all types and ages. She asks Dante where they are, and Dante says that it is the resistance – the docks are the heart of the Kairos Agenda.
Chapter 30: Dante gives them a short tour of the facilities. They are building a power grid to make the Icebox self-sufficient. Dante says that Kincaid is shortsighted because he only thinks of destroying Arras, never considering how he would repopulate and sustain the population of Earth. The Agenda is alive and growing – the revolutionaries and Dante are not preparing for war but for what comes after it. Dante says that Kincaid is on a fool’s errand, and that the intelligence on the Whorl was a distraction to get him away from the Icebox – assuring that he was busy. Dante says that they have good reason to believe that the Whorl is under Guild protection, and the Kairos Agenda could not look for it with Kincaid nosing around. Dante says that Kincaid is the enemy, and that the Whorl cannot fall into his hands. Adelice begins to question the motives of the Kairos Agenda, and once again becomes frustrated about being kept in the dark about the entire operation. She does not want to go back to Kincaid’s estate. Moreover she attacks Dante for keeping secretes from her, and Dante, in his attempt to comfort her, says he had not wanted her to get involved at all, and that he loves her. She says that she does not know whom to trust, and Erik says that he and Jost are the ones she should trust. Erik and Adelice again embrace. On the observation deck, they watch the aeroship pass along the Interface – a series of hooks and pulleys built along the ship’s external skeleton grip and gather the strands of the Interface. Adelice notes that the aeroship is not flying but rather is crawling across the web of strands. Dante points out a loophole – strands of the Interface rotate violently, curling into one another until a long funnel of woven strands extends diagonally towards the ship, opening a few feet from the deck. Dante says the loophole is possible because of a network of Kairos spies on the inside, in Arras. Dante says that refugees do not come for free. If they do not have the credits, they owe their sponsor. Dante says that he can control what Kincaid hears and use the money Kincaid pays him to buy people off of him. Adelice sees five adults and one child, all refugees, come through the loophole. The refugee with credentials says that he has information from Alix for Dante, which he tells Dante in private. Adelice approaches the woman with the child and gives her coat to her, wrapping it around her shoulders. A group of men appear on the deck, shouting instructions and dragging the ropes that tether them to the slub in the Interface. They throw the tethers up and stop the movement of the ship. They find out that Kincaid’s estate is under attack, and Dante has ordered them back.
Chapter 31: A group of Remnants are attacking Kincaid’s estate. Adelice and her cohort take the aeroship over the Icebox, and plan on dropping in as there is not enough time to take the standard route back to the estate. They get suited and zipped up, wrapping rope around their thighs and clip the carabiner around it. They grab onto the rope and slide down into the air.
Chapter 32: Adelice is hovering above the Earth and descends down the rope to the surface. When they approach the estate, they see a hole blasted in the large perimeter fence. They see several of Kincaid’s statues in ruins on the ground, bodies of the small crew that Kincaid left behind, Remnants, and some of Kincaid’s servants. Adelice also sees the corpse of the woman who played in Kincaid’s play a few weeks ago, still wearing the same face as she did during the play. Dante rushes towards the main building when he hears an explosion. Erik takes Adelice into a hidden room that he found when exploring the estate earlier on. The stairs in the room empty into the basement of the estate, and Adelice recognizes the passage leading to the cellblocks that were holding her mother. Adelice finds her still there, but Erik is shot and bleeding. They find Dante and Adelice’s mother talking with one another; Dante tries to apologize for his actions and make up for everything that he did wrong, to which Adelice’s mother reacts indifferently. Dante drugs her and plans on taking her to the desert and abandoning her. Adelice confronts him about his actions, but Dante says that he has to take her mother because Kincaid will blame her for the attack once he gets back – to Adelice’s chagrin, there is nothing Dante can do to patch up her soul. Dante assures her that they will wait for Jost to get back, and that at the moment they need to tend to Erik’s wound. Dante also warns Adelice not to tell anyone about what she saw happen, not even Jost.
Chapter 33: In Erik’s room, Adelice runs the faucet until the water is warm, but upon reentering the room she smells whiskey, with which Erik is disinfecting himself. Erik guides Adelice in drawing the damaged strands of his flesh together and connecting them. They talk about Dante and his decision regarding Adelice’s mother, which Adelice still has a difficult time accepting. Erik juxtaposes the objective person with the lover: the objective person will do what is best, but the lover will always fight harder for the person whom he or she loves. Adelice sees her copy of Shakespeare’s work at the foot of Erik’s bed. As Erik reads his favorite sonnet, number 116, which speaks of alteration, love, and marriage, he says that the message in the sonnet is why Dante took Adelice’s mother. Adelice warns Erik from treading into sensitive territory; Erik responds that they would not want that to happen. They slip into their familiar banter, setting aside the book and talking till late hours about their future plans and goals, but never about their relationship.
Chapter 34: Erik and Adelice are sleeping on Erik’s bed, and Erik slowing kisses Adelice’s fingers. Jost walks in on them, and asks Erik where Adelice is. When he sees them together, he stumbles back out the door. Adelice runs after Jost, and says that she and Erik are just friends. Jost does not believe her, to which Adelice replies that she and Jost broke up and that Jost left her. But Jost only cares about whether Adelice can still weave, and Adelice angrily responds by asking him if her talent was the only thing Jost saw her as. Erik comes into the conversation, and begins to defend Adelice, proclaiming his love for her. As Erik and Jost are fighting about the decisions they have made in the past about love and priorities, two Sunrunners order all three of them back to their rooms.
Chapter 35: The next morning Adelice’s room is locked from the outside. The guard at her door says that Kincaid is having his men sweep the area. Jax brings Adelice her afternoon meal, and he informs her that Kincaid is furious. Kincaid believes that the breach came from the inside, and thinks that Adelice had something to do with it. Dante and her mother have disappeared. Jax assures Adelice that he has a plan, and advises her not to eat dinner. He tells her that when they come for her, she should pretend that she is asleep. When Jax and another guard later come for her and lay down Adelice on a metal slab, Jax knocks out the other guard. Adelice follows Jax out of the exam room and into one of the corridors of the estate’s lower level. The alteration labs are on this level, and Jax shows Adelice how Kincaid alters people. He says that Tailors use X-ray pictures of different body parts to perform alterations. X-rays give them a basic pattern to work from. Jax shows that Kincaid had X-rays of everyone, including Valery, Erik, and herself, made – Jax says that everyone is drugged and brought down here to have those X-rays made. When Adelice asks why Kincaid did all this, Jax replies that Kincaid is twisted, but he does not know the real intentions behind his actions. The labs are also where Kincaid gets his renewal patch and uses donor threads to keep from aging. The Tailors take time strands from other people and insert them into Kincaid’s own thread. The donors are usually people who have already died. Jax also reveals that Dante is sedated in the labs, and uses a drug to bring him back to consciousness. Dante wakes up and says that Valery is also in the labs. Jax tells them to get Erik and Jost and get out. Dante tells Jax to dress and bring Valery outside to the crawlers, and reveals that the location of the Whorl is Alcatraz Island. When Adelice goes to grab Erik, a Sunrunner comes in to kill her, but Jost and Erik knock him out.
When Jost returns from his mission, the back-and-forth between him and Adelice is overwhelming for Adelice. She feels close to Jost only to sense a wall between herself and him. Her growing friendship with Erik induces guilt, with all the assumptions that Jost makes and the distrust he expresses. It consumes and overrides the happiness that she once felt with Jost. Eventually she feels her shame shift to indignation.
Moreover, Adelice’s erratic behavior forces Dante to reveal the Kairos Agenda and its operations. Ironically her frustration and emotional instability act as gateways to getting more answers. Her dangerous stints, and the newfound support and backing she receives from Eric, create an oppositional dynamic between her and Dante, as well as between her and Jost. Adelice’s uncontrollable anxiety also forces Jax to bring Dante back to consciousness in the alteration labs (especially because he originally hesitates to carry out Adelice’s prerogative to wake Dante up). She also confronts Dante right after he drugs her mother, and asks about his motives.
As the story has progressed, not only has Adelice become more confrontational and risky, but she has also been successful in her confrontations and risks – Dante, Jax, Erik, and Jost all begin to disseminate more information than before. It does not seem that she has gained the upper hand in any of these relationships; rather, external circumstances – of Kairos’ success for Dante, of winning Adelice’s love for Erik, and of finding Sebrina for Jost – all strongly influence how people react and behave with Adelice. Regardless of how much Jost’s opinion of Adelice changes, he still finds her ability to weave useful and important to his goals.
Moreover, Kincaid’s once-domineering presence slowly begins to disintegrate, not only because Dante reveals the extent to which the Kairos Agenda influences what information he is privy to, but also because Remnants (and by extension, the Guild) launched a successful attack on his estate while he was away on a mission (a mission that was itself founded on falsified intelligence created by Dante). Not only does it seem that Kincaid is has less power, but it also seems that he had less power than originally perceived by Adelice and friends. In other words, it is not only the Guild that is pawning Kincaid but his own men and the Kairos Agenda as well. These events are revelatory of the fact that there is something deeper beyond Kincaid’s control that is problematic to Adelice, namely the extent and reach of the Guild – a threat that is as large as ever.
These chapters also show a glimmer of hope in an otherwise depressing plotline. News of the location of the Whorl on Alcatraz Island gives the characters some hope, which conveys a sense of positivity to the reader as well. That the Whorl is in sight is reassuring that some good has come out of Adelice’s cooperation with Kincaid and the trust that she has put in Dante, whom she has otherwise largely looked upon with skepticism.