On Tiphares, a cocoon inside which a humanoid shape is gestating is burned by Nola Lafargue and two other Tipharean girls with flamethrowers. Nola directs one of the girls to make sure that nothing but ashes are left and that the fire does not spread as she and the other girl leave. As they walk away, the girl comments that this is the 18th burning they have had to handle since there are no boys around to take care of such things as Nola tells her that they need to hang in there, wondering how Alita is doing. She recalls that Alita left three months ago but two weeks after her departure they found a clone of Desty Nova growing inside a giant cocoon. They decided to destroy the cocoon but found out that another had taken its place shortly after. The survivors theorised that this process, which they dubbed stereotomy, is activated whenever Nova's body dies. Nanobots are released which create the cocoon in which Nova is reborn, usually within six days, emerging fully formed and clothed. They have yet to determine how to defeat the process. Pam Mahan then arrives and informs Nola that they have made contact with the surface.
At the Dome Park, Marge Mahan is conversing with Kaos, who assures her that the Scrapyard can support Tiphares' basic needs in the wake of the civil war. When he reveals that their dropping of the firewall and opening a channel made this possible, Marge does not recall doing this. Pam catches a whiff of some flan, which some of the children are eating and one of them mentions that a man was giving it away. Nova's telltale laughter is then heard, shocking Kaos and Nola, and a version of Nova clad in chef's guard is revealed to be behind a curtain with a flan cart. Nola is surprised to see that Marge and Pam are eating the flan, while Nova states that he altered the stereotomy program to allow decoys to regenerate so he could observe what would happen. Nola seizes a pipe to attack Nova but he stops her cold by asking what would happen to those who ate the flan if he were to die. Nola checks her swing as Nova X continues, offering to cooperate if he is left alone. Kaos insists that he cannot be trusted, but Nova X continues that evidence exists that LADDER and Ketheres remain hostile to Tiphares, thus they will need his help in case something happens. Marge agrees to hear him out as Nola and Kaos concede, leading Nova X to declare his support for a free and united Tiphares.
|An Eco-Logical Man! • NG Punch Instruction!! • Sexual Harassment • Samurai Angels!|