Malcolm Dugall and Lady Sasha Nebtov receive all-access passes to a soccer game, bearing the image of a sphinx. They go and see a chantry-mate, Devon, attempting to sell a Talisman to someone else. When they attempt to stop the transaction, the other man shoots Devon through the heart.
On the flagship Europa, Marty Blake interviews Admiral Wallace Mkumba, the man in charge of the attack on Chrome-Prime. Blake confronts Mkumba with classified plans to use nuclear weapons on the surface. Mkumba, angered, cuts the interview short.