At breakfast, an overly cheerful Teresa shows up and asks to crash there for a while, as her father had to go out of town for work and she’d already gone through all the food at home. She notices the glitter on Jacob, and new nicknames are created. After everyone eats and the kids leave for school, Mark and Jacob wait for Zara before heading over to Nighthawks. Mark had put the call out the night before to Dylan and Midori, asking them to meet there for their help.
Mark briefs the others as to the situation, that they have the location of the warlock that cursed Shelly. He explains the security that Kane has in place, and talks with Dylan about running surveillance and with Midori about infiltrating and kidnapping him. Jacob and Zara start discussing the job that he needs to do in order to get Ginny and Alphonse off his back, and returns Zara’s security card. They decide they’re going to go in to do the job together, but also try and see if they can get the goblin mud armor from Cross first, as they know it will help. While they’re talking about this, Cross calls and tells them that all of the Kane security forces have just left the building, leaving only the hotel security. They leave and rush to the hotel room.
Once there, Dylan starts going through all the information that Agent Moore gave them, and starts getting his gear setup. Mark plans for Midori to go in stealthed to try and kidnap Gaines, and that he and Cross will go in as backup if things go sideways. Cross, who has gotten a few goblins to help case the joint and cover all the exits, says she needs to crash for a bit as she’s been up on surveillance.
Jacob and Zara ask for the goblin mud armor, which she gives to them, and then they leave. Zara knows enough about the building and security that with her remaining assets and Jacob’s skills, they feel they can complete the job by themselves. Kane is hosting an event that night – obviously how Ginny was planning on getting in – so they go acquire uniforms and a van for a catering service and sneak into the building. They get down to the sub-basements, and find the security hub that Zara was leading them towards.
They both get undressed and into the goblin mud armor. Zara hooks into the systems, using backdoors she setup and tricks she knows to get an overview and control. Jacob heads over to the elevator, and with the assistance of his telekinesis rides the cables down to sub-basement 10, where the vault in question is located.
The good news is that the vault floor is empty of people. The bad news is that it’s patrolled by Kane security robots. With Zara’s assistance, Jacob makes it to the vault’s door. The lock is a good one, and while Jacob would like to give it the time it deserves, he doesn’t have it, so he rushes through. Inside, he loses comms with Zara, so he follows the map he has and finds the golem girl – Pemmy – locked in a glass case, just standing there still as death.
He bypasses the security on the case, and opens it. Speaking the command word, he watches as Pemmy comes to a false semblence of life. He tells her to follow him, and they move through the vault – a huge, hanger like room – to where the Silver-Tongue Charm is supposed to be. He finds it on a shelf, carved rune circles surrounding it. He asks Pemmy if she knows what the circles are for, and she tells him that they are to keep in the power of the cursed item contained within. Asking for clarification, she tells him that the charm inside is a cursed charm, and that it’s power comes with a price. He pulls the charm out of the circle, feeling the protection wards drop, and bags it.
He makes it to the door, and as soon as he opens it comms with Zara return. Which is a good thing, because she reports that guards are headed down, and she’s on her way to meet him. Jacob and Pemmy almost get caught by the guard robots, but Zara disables it somehow, and the three lock themselves back in the vault in order to escape the other robots. They start looking for some way to escape, and Jacob asks Pemmy if there is any way she can help. She knows several different teleportation spells that will get them out, but she cannot cast them herself. The spells are beyond Jacob, so she instead uses his power and her knowledge – with his permission – to cast it. His thoughts are running through safe spots and places to go, and without warning from Pemmy the spell is cast while Jacob is thinking of Mark’s place.
And suddenly all three of them appear in Mark’s living room, startling Ashley. She’s sitting on the couch, an opened bottle of wine and two wine glasses on the table in front of her. She almost hexes them, but Jacob yells out that it’s them before she does. Which is when everyone realizes that Jacob and Zara are still naked and only covered in the goblin mud armor. Ashley shrieks and spins around, Jacob and Zara try to cover up. Ashley throws the sofa pillows at them, and when Jacob asks where in the house she yells out “Guest room! Not upstairs, guest room!” They leave Pemmy and rush into the guest room, slamming the door and taking a deep breath as they realize what they just pulled off. The moment is a bit too much, and they tumble together and spend the next hour or two in sweaty-fun celebration.
Across town, Mark and group have realized that not only did all the Kane security leave, but all the protective wards that were in place are gone too. Mark walks over to the hotel and goes up to the front desk, probing to see if they’ll respond to him showing up. Nothing happens, so he gets some room prices and heads back across the street. They wait a few hours and wake Cross up. Midori is going to use his Shadow Magic to teleport over, with Dylan dropping the building power just long enough to create the shadows needed for it. He’ll break into the room, and hopefully use the sedatives that Mark has been keeping for a purpose just like this to knock him out and teleport back with him. Mark and Cross are plan B.
Dylan drops the power, and Midori teleports over in the brief flicker of lights. He pauses at the door, sensing the other man in the room. He silently pops the lock, and steps in. He finds Gaines asleep on the sofa, a spilled glass of wine on the floor, an open bottle on the table. He checks on him and finds his pulse slowed and a little thready. He handcuffs him, grabs the bottle, and teleports them both back to the room.
They discuss the whole deal, thinking that things are a little too gift-wrapped for their liking. Mark asks Cross if she knows what’s in the bottle. She smells it, then shrugs and takes a swig. The narcotic in it is fast acting, and she tells them that she feels very sleepy, but otherwise it doesn’t seem like a poison. Midori gets his Healing Spirit to help counter some of the effects of the narcotic.
They close out the room, and Cross leads them to a hideout out in Charn. They tie up Gaines and run water over him to ground out the magic, and Mark has his fingers tied together, his hands cuffed and he is gagged. Mark spends some time questioning him, rapidly going to the torturing of him, but he seems to have a death wish.
While this is going on, Dylan’s phone rings. He steps outside to discover it’s Madison. She asks if her present was well received, and offers a deal. She knows that Gaines would rather die than give up the demon’s name, because if they set it free it will go after him first. So she offers the name in exchange for Zara coming back to work for her, no contract or strings. She also offers Dylan to continue his employment with her.
Dylan heads inside and discusses this with Mark, who ends up calling Zara. Jacob and Zara have showered, and are lounging in the guest room in Mark and Jen’s robes when the phone rings. On both sides, they place the phones on speaker. Dylan and Mark explain to Zara what Madison asked for, and what they’ll get in return.
Jacob is unhappy with it, but with the phone muted Zara talks to him about it. They can’t afford to have come this far and not finish helping Shelly, and Madison must already have a plan if she’s moving on this. Zara decides to go in and see what Madison’s plan is, and in doing so help Shelly now.
Shelly knocks on the guest room door, and asks through it if the two of them need her to go buy them clothes. Mark asks what’s going on, to find out that that they teleported there and have the golem girl for Alphonse. A bit of comedy as explanations and questions fly, and they hang up.
Dylan calls back Madison, and agrees to her terms for Zara. Madison thanks him, and asks to be passed over to Mark, where she gives him the name Laschiel.
Mark hangs up, and they try to decide what to do with Nicholas. Mark is afraid to let him go early, so Cross suggests that they remove his tongue, that way he can’t cast anything between now and when Laschiel comes for him. Mark likes the idea, and after removing his tongue and breaking his fingers, they let him go.
Mark and Cross head back to Mark’s, Midori and Dylan leaving to go about their own business. Once back, they find Jacob and Zara in ridiculous – closeout priced – clothing. They take Pemmy to Alphonse’s, and on the way Jacob calls Ginny to tell her to meet them there. Once there, everything is handed over and Mark receives the spellbook he needs. Jacob tries to warn Ginny about the cursed charm, but eventually wipes his hands of it all and walks out.
Jacob and Zara head out to his house, and Mark heads home with the book.
Once there, he has a talk to his daughter, then goes to research the ritual. He finds it to be incredibly simple since he has both Shelly and the demon’s name in his possession, so he goes outside to prep the casting space. Once done, he goes and talks to Shelly, explaining the risks of the ritual, and that if she wants to try it, he’s ready. He tells her that it’s likely she will still have some of the aspects of a succubus after, but much easier to control and not a possessing intelligence. She makes him promise that if she can’t come out with some manner of control and safety, that they discuss ending her. With that said, she agrees to try.
The ritual is painful for her, but is successful. Lasciel is freed from Shelly, leaving her with some of the aspects of a succubus. Mark points Laschiel in the right direction to find Gaines, and carries Shelly upstairs to the bath. He decides to wait until tomorrow after they both have time to recover in order to put the wards he found in the book on her, which will give her much greater control over the essence left inside her.
After a while, he leaves Shelly with Jen, and heads down to have a drink and a talk with Cross. They talk for a bit, before Cross finally forces him to leave her be so that he can go back up and be with Jen and Shelly. She promises she’s OK, and leaves it at that.
Mark heads up to sleep.