Maren and Miriam argue her new theory that the 'monsters' that they have both now seen are from different worlds - they're so different from humans. Maren doesn't buy it, and says maybe the monsters made the world. They set off that night in search of Rua, first the police cells and then the Flyers' Tower, since the Flyers are after him, not the local police.
Hiding on the rooftops, Rain is ambushed by the monster that questioned Miriam, back in human shape. Trying to get away, Rain calls for help from passersby, but the one who arrives is clearly on the same wavelength as Rain's captor - they argue as though Rain were a prize, not a person.
In the alleys, Shirin spots the monsters arguing and points them out to Arram. In the kerfuffle, Rain takes the chance to sneak away. Shirin, tracking the monsters from a distance, comes across a shiny metal thing, and is pleased that she has been proved right, whatever that means. Arram refuses point blank to get into it, so she leaves him there, adding that if he wants the artifact still, he could do worse than follow the boy on the roof. Arram does so.
In the Flyers' Tower, Miriam and Maren find the dispatch room. Rua has been sent to Sarani. They decide to try and find Rain on their own, presuming that the little thief is still in Tiermond.
On his way out of the city, heading into the desert, Arram reviews the reasoning which led him out there in pursuit of Rain, and is not convinced. Rain, on the other hand, isn't thinking at all, just running away, and scared; lack of sleep, water and food and the broken arm are not taken into consideration. Arram watches his quarry collapse shortly after daybreak. Now what to do? They're a bit far from the city for Arram to be able to carry Rain back - but then, he sees ships on the horizon; the sandyachts of the nomads, who are travelling to Sarani to plead for shelter. Their oases have dried up. They take Arram and Rain and ask no questions.
Miriam and Maren draw a blank - Rain is nowhere to be found. Left without a plan, they decide to sail back to Sarani. Maren seems remarkably unconcerned about the loss of his experimental flyer.
In Sarani, rumours fly around concerning the individual brought to the tower room. The Principal, however, is more concerned about the sandyachts sighted north of the city.
In the sand catamaran, Arram is musing over what has happened and what he's going to do next. The nomads are not aware that Rain - who they knew before - is technically Arram's captive; Arram isn't sure how much that matters any more. Arram's host offers him a place with the nomads, if he needs it.
The Principal and her subordinates have been to see the City Council of Sarani, who are extremely unimpressed with what she had to say. However, she got what she wanted - the nomads will be protected, no matter how unhappy the people of Sarani are. She calls for Rua ('Annuin') to be sent to her office.
The nomads arrive at the city at about the same time as Miriam and Maren do, although they come by sea. Maren, who can't see the sandyachts, is confident that Sarani hasn't changed (never mind the loss of the raft). They make plans to head into the city and poke about after Rua.
The nomads make camp, and some of them go to talk to the Sarani City Council. Arram is shocked to hear about the lack of a ruling Council in Darishian. Rain and Arram sneak up to try and hear the discussions, but they're too far away. Rain points out that Arram could simply leave the camp and enter the city - his colouring is not unusual; he's not obviously a nomad and Sarani has no walls. Arram asks what Rain is going to do, but like him, Rain is at a loss.
The Principal talks to Rua. She apologises for having him brought in as a prisoner - she's not interested in what he's been accused of. She wants to know why he didn't take the oath - but never mind that now. She's more interested in what's going on in the world, and wants his insight. Rua looks out of the window at her request, and wants to know if he's supposed to be looking at the nomad camp, or the grey flying thing above it.
Above the camp, the shiny grey thing Shirin stowed away in is hovering. A loud voice is audible, calling for the chimaera to be handed over. On land now, Miriam and Maren stare up in disbelief, and the members of the two Councils do likewise. No answer is given - nobody really knows what to say. In response, the ship flies lower, and Rain makes to run to the camp, but Arram launches himself on top of Rain to prevent it. A bright beam of light comes from the ship and destroys the catamaran Arram and Rain had ridden in with, along with the people who had been on her at the time.