Daraja Valentine, city media manager and Rosicrucian leader, arrives at the Shadow Market, flanked by bodyguards, functionaries and Eamon Burnbridge (sporting a cast on his smashed hand). Everyone sits down in the refurbished train carriage that the Shadows use as an office, and things immediately get off to a rocky start.
Valentine has had enough of the Shadows interfering in her activities – not just them finding the Head of Fludd, but also their theft of the Butcher Bishop’s mitre, as well as the scam that Vic and Arthur tried to pull on her a few months earlier. She wants her property back, she wants the Shadows to mind their own business, and in a perfect world she’d like them to get out of New Jerusalem entirely.
Faced with this, Charlotte gets aggressive and says that there’s no proof that the Head belongs to Valentine. When the Rosicrucians produce a bill of sale and supporting documents, she pushes back, saying that they won’t give back the Head if it’s going to be used for evil purposes – a rule, Arthur confirms, they hold to for all trades in the Shadow Market.
Negotiations go on like this for a while. Burnbridge talks about how he could happily burn down the Market with the Shadows inside, and Valentine produces documents to show she could do the same to the family’s finances. In response, Thomas and Gwen make it clear that they can hit back if needed, and that Valentine has a lot more to lose from noise, scandal and trouble than they do. Charlotte tries to appeal to Valentine’s better nature, to no avail, but does learn that the Head is not a weapon but more of a ‘computation engine’.
Finally, once all the threats and promises have been exchanged, Arthur manages to convince Valentine that it’s better to pay them a finder’s fee for the Head and leave them alone than to escalate the issue. Burnbridge is outraged by this and tries to start an argument, but she shuts him down fast. With payment and handover scheduled for the following night, the Rosicrucians leave, and Valentine tells Arthur that she hopes to never see any of them again,
After all that tension, the meeting later that night with Dead Ringer is somewhat anticlimactic. The undead merchant comes in after sundown, with a $4000 payment for the Book of Dead Names. The Shadows are uncertain about handing it over, as the information Charlotte found in the Library of Lost Dreams suggests it can be used to doom anyone whose name is written in it. Dead Ringer tells them that that’s not true, and that the Book can’t be used to hurt anyone – and the skeleton salesman is so persuasive that they all believe him.
At the end of a long day, the Shadows retire to the kitchen to count their money and have a drink. Dead Ringer walks back through the city towards a portal to the Underworld, not noticing Herne the Hunter stalking him. Eamon Burnbridge drinks alone in the 8-Ball Haemorrhage, growing angrier and angrier. And somewhere in the city, a figure sets up a row of video cameras in a room, across from half-a-dozen terrified children locked in cages…