Margot attends a party at the Bessaparan capital hosted by President Moskalev. When she arrives, Tunde briefly questions Margot about the reason for her visit. He insinuates that she is there to interfere in matters of international politics, chiefly to protect US interests regarding Saudi oil. Margot evades Tunde’s questions, insisting that she is only there as a diplomat interested in enjoying herself.
As Tunde walks away, Margot admires his physique, realizing that she desires sexual release. She notes that almost all of these male journalists covering the supposed revolution are sexually attractive—and they capitalize on this fact by often appearing semi-clothed in their videos. Margot, who brought Jocelyn along as part of delegation to the United Nations, meets the enigmatic Tatiana Moskalev. Margot notes that Moskalev’s mansion has a certain gaudy aesthetic that reminds Margot of gangster film cliches.
Moskalev invites Margot to have a private conversation over a glass of locally produced ice wine. Moskalev tries to convince Margot to promise that the United States will deploy NorthStar forces to aid Bessapara against Saudi and Moldovan insurgents. Margot only promises to publicly support Bessapara’s desire for democratic sovereignty, but she privately thinks Moskalev’s idea is a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Margot reasons that if the NorthStar deployment is successful, future deployment opportunities will present themselves. Margot sees this as a lucrative proposition, and she intends to present the idea to her superiors back in Washington. As she leaves the party, Margot invites Tunde into her limousine to go back to her hotel. Tunde declines, but Margot takes a young man from the hotel bar in the elevator back up to her suite.
Mother Eve is another guest at Tatiana Moskalev’s party. Despite her public endorsement for Bessapara, Mother Eve remains skeptical of the president. The party is taking place shortly after the Bessaparan army’s recent loss in a battle at Gneister. Mother Eve attends the party mostly as a show of Bessapara’s underlying goodwill.
Another guest at the party requests a private audience with Mother Eve. When Mother Eve walks into the bedroom, she sees Jocelyn, who has come to Mother Eve for guidance. Having seen the videos in which Mother Eve heals people, Jocelyn asks for a miracle, and Mother Eve uses her power to manipulate Jocelyn’s skein. Immediately afterward, Jocelyn feels better than she ever has and expresses endless gratitude to Mother Eve.
When Mother Eve returns to the party, she witnesses an event that disgusts her: Tatiana Moskalev berates one of her male attendants for talking without permission. Moskalev then pours a glass of expensive champagne on the ground, telling the attendant to lick it up. Moskalev and her audience mock the attendant, who obeys his boss without question. She laughs and tells him he is disgusting before ordering him to retrieve a mop and clean up the spill.
Mother Eve does not intervene in this moment, though she is shocked by what she has witnessed. Her inner voice suggests that Tatiana Moskalev may have outlived her usefulness to the cause. Mother Eve speaks to Roxy briefly, suggesting that Roxy would make a great president of Bessapara.
While at Tatiana Moskalev’s lavish party, Roxy partakes of the liquor, food, and male sexual entertainment before deciding to leave. She thinks that the party has been entertaining, but she was disappointed that Moskalev did not parade her rumored pet leopard around the house. She thinks about Mother Eve’s suggestion that she would make a good president, but Roxy is mostly amused by the absurdity of the idea.
She is leaving the party to meet up...
(This entire section contains 833 words.)
with a local business connection that Darrell has secured. Darrell has been in Bessapara for months working on expanding the family’s Glitter distribution operation farther into Eastern Europe. Roxy remarks that Darrell is a good fit for this kind of work, as men are less threatening these days.
Roxy travels to a remote location, which she notes as odd before exiting the car. She finds the building strangely empty, with plastic tarps and medical instruments inside. Just as she realizes something is not right, she feels a sharp blow to the back of her head. Drifting in and out of consciousness, Roxy realizes she is being strapped to a table and injected with something. She feels her power weakening, but she is determined to keep fighting.
As she continues to struggle against her assailants, Roxy hears the voices of Darrell and Bernie in the room. Then, she sees and feels someone removing her skein, noticing that her father and brother are also being prepped for some kind of operation. Despite her best effort, Roxy can not muster enough strength to prevent the total removal of her skein.
While the doctors turn their attention toward the men waiting for Roxy’s skein to be transplanted into their bodies, Roxy is able to free herself from her restraints and escape without a fight.