The Sanctuary team is under pressure - the recent uprising of Abnormals from Hollow Earth is threatening the fabric of global society, and the UN Security Council has sent a special task force to investigate the Sanctuary. Though Greg Addison, the leader of the task force, pays lip service to Magnus's impressive reputation, his contempt for her and her team stands unconcealed.
Everyone's on edge, but no one more so than Henry, who is awash with emotions due to his girlfriend and fellow HAP Erica's surprise arrival, and her announcement that she's pregnant with his child. Her hormones could be affecting her ability to control her HAP transformation, as well, and when Addison provokes her with insults about Abnormals, she comes one step away from tearing out the intruder's jugular.
Erica's hormones also seem to have enhanced her already higher-than-normal abilities at computer programming, and she discovers that Addison's people are attempting to overtake the Sanctuary's mainframe and possibly lock Magnus out. She shuts them down and then alerts Henry to the increasing threat.
Addison is particularly interested in a report Magnus submitted regarding the tracking of an Abnormal called the crixorum, a being with the ability to foresee events and control people with his mind. The report states that Magnus and Will traveled to Jakarta to persuade the crixorum to come to the Sanctuary, but as they closed in on their quarry, a team of covert ops arrived and scuttled the plan, killing the man whom they believed to be the crixorum.
Addison, in his interrogation of Will and Magnus, guesses at a deeper truth and threatens to cut the Sanctuary off from the UN and its coffers unless she reveals the whole story. Magnus charges that Addison and his people were responsible for the death of the most valuable abnormal on the planet, and he rebuts by first insulting the Sanctuary's ability to control Abnormals, then impugning Magnus's credibility, noting her concealment of Big Bertha. Magnus returns the affront by ordering him to leave, threatening violence should he or anyone from the UN attempt to return.
Her team stands shocked since this man holds the fate of the Sanctuary in his hands, but as soon as the coast is clear, Magnus and Will reveal that this standoff was all part of an elaborate plan that Magnus has been developing since the start of her second lifetime. Her reclusion convinced her that the Sanctuary needed independence from the broken system of global government, and so she fooled Addison into thinking that it was his idea to cut off the Sanctuary. In truth, Magnus wanted freedom, and played him like a flute to get it.
And this isn't the last surprise up Helen's sleeve. She escorts her team to the most secret level of the Sanctuary and reveals there the crixorum, heavily sedated and possibly unaware of where he is, but at least safe from manipulation by the powers of the world - unless Magnus's hundred-year retreat turned her mind into something more sinister.