Ayla is attacked again on the way back from church by four black guys, one of whom is called G-Force. She hammers two of them, and ducks out by going through the tunnel from Hawthorne and then phasing through the 50 feet or so of rock into Poe's basement. When she gets back Jay Jay (Scrambler) is relating her problems with a code name that's too close to hers (Scramble). Ayla goes upstairs to Zenith's room and gets Shrike (Zenith's roommate) to tell her Aries' real name and hometown. She sorts out an investment problem for Shrike in return.
Sidney, Australia: Writer Michael Waite has been having trouble making his latest book jell. He discovers that he's lost 11 pounds during his latest writing binge and gets himself to a hospital. The doctor tells him he's got cancer. He collapses. Then he, or rather she, wakes up in a morgue. A morgue guard runs in and shoots her. She drinks his blood and life force, his body dissolves to a small pile of blue-green dust on the floor.
Sara runs to find some place before the sun comes up. She finds an apartment. She's eventually interrupted by an 11 year old kid, Gary, who gives him a card for a Dr. Donna Bell at ARC, with US phone numbers. It's signed by a "Mrs. P." Gary's foster father comes home, drunk, and proceeds to beat him up. Sara finishes him off, leaving a small pile of blue dust.
Sara and Gary go to a drugstore (chemist in Australia) to buy a couple of things, and hook up with a detective, one Nathan Coleman, who, surprisingly, seems to be on her side. He's there because of a message from Mrs. P. There's a chase in which Gary manages to get killed by a stray bullet. Sara absorbs him after promising to be his mother next time around.
After a bit more running around, Sara and Nathan decide to call Dr. Bell. It turns out she's in the same building's parking lot, again, because of a message from Mrs. P. They take off for ARC in ARC's private sub-orbital shuttle.