At breakfast, the team gets to know Heather a bit more. They discover that she “broke out” the year before. Her family was a bit dysfunctional from the sound of it, and her parents often argued. One evening they were arguing so much she got upset, which activated her powers. The road they were driving on slicked over with ice and the car skidded out of control, killing both her parents.
She was sent to an orphanage and a volunteer there told her to keep her powers secret, otherwise she’d never get adopted. She’d been trying to conceal her powers this whole time, sometimes losing control. When it got near the holidays, she just started to feel more and more angry at the world and that’s when…HE…came to her, and granted her wish.
The team asks what her abilities are. Heather takes a fresh egg from the fridge. She holds it up with her right hand, and it slowly becomes covered in ice. She moves the now Egg Ice Cube to her left hand, and the entire thing melts, egg and all, into a liquid goo.
Bouncer says she needs to be registered, that if AEGIS finds out about her and the fact that she isn’t registered, it wouldn’t end well. Some quick research finds that the youngest paranormal to have registered is a 17, almost 18 year old in New York. Heather, at 13, is the youngest Paranormal to have broken out.
They agree to bring her to AEGIS later to register and to help speed along the process, but to keep the incident with her parents a secret.
They talk about giving her training, so she can control her powers, and realize the best tutor would be the Caretaker. But when she wasn’t training, she should not use her powers. Guy makes a quick call to Jackson, who says that he’s already built an inhibitor that looks like jewelry, rather than the inhibitor collars that AEGIS uses, and has shipped it their way (precognition and all that). He sounds stressed and tired, and Firework learns that Jackson hasn’t been getting much sleep. Too many ideas in his head.
After breakfast, Firework, Aurum, Bouncer & Jesuit take Heather to Firework’s mother(s) home. Wildheart has other plans.
Samantha & Darla welcome the team for brunch. While Samantha plays homemaker, Firework talks to Darla about Heather. He says that she has nowhere else to go, no family, and putting her back in the system, with her abilities, would end disastrously. Darla says she must register, but since she’s a minor, that this would open up a world of legal issues (Darla has been studying Paranormal Paralegal issues lately).
Samantha meanwhile chats with the teammates and gets to know Heather. Once Darla and Firework return, everything is decided. Darla & Samantha will be Heather’s foster parents for now (Darla will work on the paperwork), she’ll be registered with AEGIS, and she’ll train with The Caretaker after school (really the only time she should take off her inhibitor until she can learn to control her powers).
Samantha is excited to have a child again. Darla is excited to start down a whole new legal path or Paranormal paralegal matters. And the rest of the team decide to let Caretaker he will have a new charge.
Meanwhile, Wildheart goes to have brunch with his mom. His mom tells him that his brother had stopped by a few times, each time making sure that Wildheart wasn’t present. She says that he said “I don’t want to cause any more problems than I already have.”
Wildheart tells his mom to pass along a message, that he would like to have coffee sometime and talk. Just talk. No punching.
Wildheart then goes to AEGIS HQ, and goes down the holding cells. He talks to Juanito, the paranormal that the team captured on Christmas Day. Wildheart tells Juanito that he’ll do what he can to help him in his situation, and will put him in touch with HOPE, to see if they can help with his legal issues.
Wildheart goes to talk to Dr. Brennan, but runs into Mickey, who says she’s on vacation.
Back in the city, Bouncer puts in a call to Dr. Brennan, to consult about Heather. Mickey answers and tells him she’s on vacation, and that he’s surprised Bouncer wasn’t notified. Bouncer shrugs it off and meets back with the rest of the team.
Firework pulls out his Golden Key and put it in the door to his pantry. When he opens the door, a black void stands before him. He lets everyone go in before he does, and then follows. They get the sensation of traversing dimensions (something Firework is used to) and arrive in the Nevernever, at The Lair entrance.
Which now looks like a swanky hotel lobby, with a check in desk, lounge furniture, and staircases going up several floors.
The team walk to the “STAFF ONLY” door and open it. Inside they find the familiar, endless hallway with doors on either side. They get their bearings and head towards “their” room. As they do, they hear a crash from inside one of the rooms, and out stumbles a disheveled Caretaker.
“Oh. You guys. Can’t y’all knock?”
From inside the room comes Dr. Brennan, not in her usual business attire, but in a baggy sweater and leggings. Her usually impeccable hair is pushed back in a bun with various strands sticking out.
“Ahem. Gentleman. I see that you…are here…and well…ahem…”
Firework giggles as Aurum says, “Now now, Temperance. We’re all adults here. There’s not need to explain your…liaisons. We are here to talk with The Caretaker.”
Caretaker goes, “Bout time. It’s been ages since y’all stopped by. Can’t bother to check in on an old man?”
“You look like you’ve kept busy.” Bouncer says.
Caretaker explains that he has upgraded The Lair, with better security after the “incident’ last time, as well as created a few more portals. It’s not instant teleportation everywhere, but a good number of locations around the globe. Dr. Brennan seems a bit hesitant about the idea of her AMERICAN team traversing the globe, but the team seem excited by the notion.
They explain the situation about Heather, and Caretaker agrees to take on Heather, while Dr. Brennan agrees to help where she can with the registration process.
Jesuit hd something bothering him. He says, “Dr. Brennan, how long have you been here?”
“Well, time moves differently here, as you know, so quite some time actually. However in the “real world,” I’ve only been gone a few days. Did you not get my message?”
Bouncer says, “Wait…you’ve been here? You weren’t around on Christmas Eve?”
She shakes her head, “No, I took time off and was here with Carl. The vacation request was a bit last minute, but I made sure that you would be notified…”
Bouncer goes, “Then who…wait, we talked to you yesterday, on Christmas Eve, and you sent us on a mission. An easy one, but…oh no.”
Bouncer and Jesuit leave through one of the new portal doorways and head straight for AEGIS HQ. They walk in as if nothing was wrong, and head straight for Dr. Brennan’s office. They see Mickey at his terminal, in the office, working. They question him about what he’s doing there, and he says he needed the pay so volunteered to work the holiday shift. He says that he’d been keeping track of Dr. Brennan’s message and keeping her files in order for when she returned.
Jesuit is able to tell that he is not lying.
They ask him to bring up surveillance footage of the past few days. For a while, they spot nothing. Then, the day before, they see what appears to be Dr. Brennan walk through the security gate. She walks carefully, around people. No one seems to really pay attention. She gets to the office, walks in, and does not leave. At all.
Mickey quickly goes onto Dr. Brennan’s computer and checks it.
“It’s been wiped. All of it.”
Bouncer immediately calls General Jackson, the person in charge, and informs him there’s been a data breach. Jesuit focuses his powers, using sight beyond sight.
He barely notices that the door behind them opens slightly, and not by the wind. He excuses himself, making eye contact with Bouncer, and follows the lead.
Focusing his sight abilities (aka uses a Hero Point) he’s able to see what he wasn’t before…light being refracted away from a particular space, causing invisibility. He takes aim and fires, hitting a humanoid figure. A wave of electricity courses through the body, briefly revealing a woman covered head to toe in a body suit. She goes invisible, but the shot left a patch of circuitry revealed in her back.
She bolts, running outside, but is tackled by a charging Bouncer, and knocked to the ground.
Back home, Aurum and Firework walk into their home. As they’re about to go up to their penthouse, Johnny 5’s alarm system sets off.
“Firework! You have to head to your moms’ now!” The tv turns into a view screen, showing surveillance footage of Firework’s moms’ condo. Outside, stalking and sniffing the ground, is a metallic robot dog.
The viewscreen begins to show other views, including outside of HOPE and AEGIS HQ, and outside of Wildheart’s mom’s street. The same metallic dogs, stalking in the darkness.
Firework’s jaw drops. “Those dogs…they belong to The Huntmaster.”