After Sapphire disappears, Steel leaves the rooftop. He arrives at the elevator and tries to make telepathic contact with Sapphire. There's no sign of her on the eight floor, and the lift comes up despite Steel having prevented it from coming up to the top floor earlier. It stops and makes a clattering noise, and Steel opens the door. There's no one inside, and Steel hits the button panel in frustration. As he walks out, the panel falls off and the buttons spark.
Steel goes out on the roof and finds a man standing nearby. The man, Silver, says that he fixed the lift. Steel, recognizing him, sits down and Silver says that he didn't touch Steel's knot in the elevator cable. When Steel advises Silver not to reach forward because the capsule is there, Silver agrees and teleports over and asks where Sapphire is.
Eldred shows Rothwyn the communication panel, and behind them the glowing spot appears on the wall.
Silver goes downstairs and ducks into a closet, and Steel comes down and hears him. He looks inside and Silver says Sapphire isn't in the empty apartment. Silver tells Steel that there are two other capsules and goes out in the hallway, and Steel asks where they sent him. The newcomer claims that he was just passing and notes that if Steel destroyed the capsule then it would increase the danger. However, Silver assures Steel that he isn't there to tell him that.
Steel goes back into the empty apartment and looks around, while Silver removes the knob from a door. Once he's done, he knocks on the apartment door and then goes in and approaches Steel. He says that some unknown force is wrecking havoc, and if Steel destroys the capsule then he'll be helping the force. Steel wonders why Silver knows more than he does, and Silver tells him that his information about the situation was incomplete but not wrong. He insists that they have to get into capsule, but he was almost destroyed trying to get in and Sapphire disappeared. Silver melts a screw in his hands and pours the liquefied metal into a small metal cap that Steel found on the floor.
In the capsule, the Changeling walks across the nursery.
Silver senses a "flicker" that is half in h is room and half in his head.
The Changeling walks out of the nursery.
Silver says that the "flicker is gone and pours out the metal, which is hardened into a metal ball. Steel wonders when they can go in, and Silver says as soon as he prepares the way. He tells Steel that the other two capsules don't matter and Steel doesn't need to worry about them.
Eldred and Rothwyn are unable to raise the rural and provincial study groups. Rothwyn warns that if they're trapped there then the groups are all they have because no one else can help them. They leave the room and Eldred wonders if the others would have gone back without them. Rothwyn goes to check on their baby and asks Eldred to go with her. They go together, while in the panel on the room, Sapphire appears in the image of one group's house.
Rothwyn and Eldred discover that the knob in the nursery door is gone, leaving a rotting hole. The baby is gone, and there's a pile of sand on a nearby table. Rothwyn remembers that there was a pitcher of water there, and says that they have to find their child.
The Changeling ages out another knob in the door of the living room and goes inside.
Sapphire looks around the other capsule, which has taken the form of a rural home. She finds a discarded doll but no sign of the inhabitants. Sapphire continues looking around and finds the group's communication panel. When she sits down, the panel activates.
Silver continues collecting pieces of metal and tells Steel that they have to find the room directly below the couple's communication room. Steel says that he briefly saw the inside of the capsule, but is unable to describe it. Silver collects small scraps of metal in a handkerchief, goes into the room beneath the communication room, lights a light bulb with his bare hand, and checks the walls. He then goes back to Silver and tells him that all three capsules have the same basic layout.
The Changeling looks at the dining table and touches one of several glasses. When he does, it turns into sand. Rothwyn and Gant hear the noise, and Rothwyn goes to investigate. Gant tries to stop her, but she says that there's no one else who can help them and she won't let anything her child. They go into the living room and see the Changeling in the doorway to the dining room. He approaches and Rothwyn says that she knows him. The Changeling reaches his hand out to her, and the spot on the wall glows pulses. The aged boy senses it and holds out his other hand, and Rothwyn takes it.
Silver continues checking the walls and when Steel touches the knob to the last room, the knob in his hand glows. Silver goes in and the light bulb he's holding flickers. He tosses it to steel, and the bulb dissolves into metal fragments. Sapphire makes contact with Sapphire, who says that she's in another capsule and the crew is dead. Steel tells her that Silver is there and is going to get them into their capsule. Sapphire and Silver greet each other, and Steel irritably says that the capsule they're trying to get into is the governing one for the other two.
Written by Gadfly on Feb 11, 2019