After returning from Greece, Darrek, Henry, and Emily go to Anita’s to pick up Omar. Anita suddenly screams and falls to the ground. Darrek and Henry quickly realize that she no longer senses as Gifted, and that she’s alive but her soul is no longer in her body.
Emily clutches her head and staggers backward, then looks at Darrek and says, “She’s trapped inside of her worst nightmare, and she’s reliving it over and over again.” She refuses to say anymore. Darrek can tell that she’s been shaken to her core by whatever it was that she saw.
Darrek calls Matthew, who arrives at Anita’s not long after. They take Anita to Matthew’s loft, along with Moriarty, Anita’s cat, who refuses to leave her side. He sits on her chest loudly griping at everyone.
After getting Anita settled at Matthew’s, the hour is late. Emily speaks up and says that there is nothing more to be done at this time and that everyone should get some rest. She informs Henry in no uncertain terms that she is taking him home, and tells Darrek that he should follow suit. Darrek assures her he will not be long, explaining that he wants to do a few more things to ensure Anita is as safe as she can be. Emily and Henry leave.
Darrek inscribes protective runes all over Anita’s skin and casts powerful wards to prevent any of her enemies from locating her or realizing her vulnerable state. As he is doing this, Lorelei comes downstairs and knocks on Matthew’s door, saying that she heard the commotion and can smell Anita, but something seems off. As Matthew is explaining what has happened, Lorlei pushes past him and rushes into his bedroom, where Anita is laid out on his bed and Darrek is working his protective magics. Her eyes turn red, she sprouts her fangs, and demands to know what he is doing to her.
Darrek puts his hands up and backs away. Lorelei touches Anita, closing her eyes. She says Anita still has a silver cord, but she cannot see where it goes. There is a sense of terror and rage. She tries to follow Anita’s cord and hits a literal wall of blackness.
Lorelei opens her eyes, and begs them to help Anita. Seeing that the young and extremely powerful vampire appears less dangerous, albeit distressed, Darrek slowly puts his hands down and formally introduces himself, promising to do everything he can to find Anita and bring her home. Lorelei pledges to sit vigil with Anita’s body until she has been returned to it. Darrek heads home.
The next morning, as Darrek is fixing breakfast, Henry wonders aloud if Anita could be in the Dreamlands. After eating, the two head to the Hive Arcana to the library to research, while the rest of the group trains. On their way there, Darrek stops to see Harlan to inquire if his old friend may have any information that could help. Harlan recalls something similar occurring in 1925 involving a witch attempting to resurrect herself, and warns Darrek against messing around with time. Henry agrees, saying his mother warned him about this.
Arriving at the Hive Arcana, they find Amanda, one of the twins, curled up against the door of Anita’s office, crying and asking where she is. “I need help,” she says. Darrek gets her up and gets her a cup of tea. She explains that she and her sister were at a club, when suddenly her sister screamed and collapsed and she (Amanda) lost her powers. She goes on to tell him that the entire Twilight Order in Pittsburgh appears to have fallen comatose. Darrek contacts the Rosicrucians, who confirm that several necromancers within the Order have also suffered the same fate.
Darrek instructs Amanda to take her sister to the Twilight Order chapel house. He then calls Dr. Armedt and asks him to send a cabal of trusted sorcerers to assist him in warding it, reminding him of the Rosicrucians’ long held alliance with the Twilight Order in Pittsburgh. Darrek then fills Jamie and Dana in on what has happened, as well as his wife, Emily. Jamie and Dana contact the Wicce. Emily reaches out to the other members of the Cabal of Psyche. Everyone begins canvassing the area to find any other Gifted who may have been affected. Henry calls Megan, who tells him that several runaways have collapsed. Darrek has them all brought to the Twilight Order chapel house, which has now been securely warded and is being guarded in shifts by various members of the Rosicrucians.
Matthew shares that he found some Watcher’s Council records involving a similar situation involving Slayer from New Orleans in 1925. Unfortunately the records were redacted by a Watcher named Tony. One of the people that the Slayer was working with may well have been Matthew’s father.
Henry orders Darrek an iced red eye and himself a dirty hot chocolate before they head into the Library to research. They work for several hours, scouring through book after book to find the information they are searching for. Henry learns that while Moroi do not dream, Strigoi can. Darrek focuses on getting more specific information on where Anita may be in the Dreamlands and how they can get there. He discovers that she is likely in a place known as the Coma Pits, which are part of the Nightmare Kingdoms. Nightmares used to be where journeys in the Dreamlands went wrong. There is a “court” of beings that appear to rule the Nightmare Kingdoms: Ghost Dancer, Hypnos, Mullonga, Morpheus, and The Nightmare Man. Darrek searches for the best way for the group to get to the Dreamlands and finds there are two options, neither of which are ideal. They can use a spell, though they have been known to go wrong as the Dreamlands are unpredictable. There is no guarantee that the group will arrive together in the same place. Alternatively, they can make their way in through a ghoul’s nest, but this will require them to fight their way in through the ghoul tunnels.
Darrek presents these options to the group and suggests a vote. Henry stresses that fighting through the ghoul tunnels seems a poor way to start their journey to find Anita, and votes for the spell. Darrek agrees with Henry, as does the rest of the group. Matthew, unable to be affected by magic, says he will use his lucid dreaming skill to make his way in and find the rest of them from there. The group decides to all go to Matthew’s so that Lorelei can guard their physical bodies while they are in the Dreamlands.
Darrek calls Emily to let her know what is happening and where he and Henry will be. He then sends a text message to Sandra: “I’m going to find your mum.” He still receives no response from her.
The group returns to Matthew’s loft, and everyone stretches out on the floor of the room where Anita is. One by one, they all fall asleep.
Darrek awakens to find himself in his own house. The lights are flickering, and there is an overwhelming sense of Lyssicus and Tainted energy. Hearing screams upstairs, he takes off, and finds Emily and Henry being torn apart by Aimee. She has a demonic appearance, and is drawing their Essence out of them.
When she sees Darrek, she grins, mocking him. “You had your chance to kill me and you failed. This is your fault.”
Darrek tries to use his magics against her but it seems to reflect back onto him. Aimee laughs and licks Emily’s blood off of her hands, then inserts one of them through the back of Henry’s skull, making his mouth move like a puppet’s and further mocking Darrek’s grief. “I’m sorry you couldn’t save me. You’re so pathetic, you can’t make anything work.” She then throws Henry’s body at Darrek.
Darrek attacks her and she strikes him multiple times, almost knocking him unconscious. He runs to Henry’s bathroom and she follows, sprouting fangs and dragging Henry and Emily’s bodies with her. He grabs the back of the toilet tank and hits Aimee with it, which does not seem to phase her at all. She strikes him again, and he hits his head hard against a towel rack and slides to the floor.
Suddenly, there is a yellow, swirling light from behind that envelopes Aimee. She screams, and she, Henry, and Emily disappear. Darrek looks up to see Alan, his former mentor, standing in front of him. He offers Darrek his hand and helps him to his feet.
“Hello Darrek,” he says. “It’s been a long time.”
Darrek nods, and then punches him squarely in the face. Alan wipes his mouth, ever calm, and says, “I deserved that.”
“You deserve SO much worse than that,” Darrek growls in anger.
Alan nods again. “All I can say is that I’ve changed. I’m not the same man as I was the last time you saw me.”
Darrek realizes as he speaks that he no longer senses as Tainted. Alan explains that something is very wrong in the Dreamlands, and he could feel Anita’s presence. He mentions that he “found help,” and was searching for her when Darrek and the rest of the group entered the Nightmare Kingdoms. Darrek confirms that they are also searching for Anita and says he needs to find Henry and the rest of the group. Alan agrees, and as they leave his house it disappears like smoke behind them. As they walk, Alan explains that he spent 150 years being tormented by Nodens in penance for his crimes and is now a permanent fixture in the Dreamlands. He gives Darrek a quick lesson on the “rules” of this place.
Suddenly, they find themselves standing on the walkway in front of the Tinsley’s house (again). They enter the house and find Henry, who also has been battling a demonic Aimee and appears to have encased her in stone. Darrek introduces Henry to Alan, who smiles and compliments him on his ingenuity. Looking behind them, Darrek sees himself dead and mutilated inside of Henry’s closet. As they exit the Tinsley’s house (again), they find themselves in an alley, somewhere that vaguely resembles Pittsburgh. They can hear voices, which Darrek and Henry quickly realize belong to Matthew and Hilda, and a third unknown girl. Mack and Danny are not far behind.
The girl introduces herself as Kat Donovan, Anita’s daughter and the former Slayer of Pittsburgh. Alan explains that when he sensed Anita being drawn into the Dreamlands, he knew he was going to need help to find her, so he sprung Kat from Hell and brought her here.
As the group continues to walk, the scene shifts to a very large, gothic Cathedral. Sitting on the altar at the front of the Cathedral is a very thin man with dark hair and eyes in a priest’s clothes wearing a large ankh and grinning at them. He introduces himself as Morpheus, then points to a door and they all go through it. As they walk down a long hallway, Morpheus re-appears with them. At one point, his face shifts to a horrible demonic visage, then back to what it was before.
Suddenly, the group finds themselves in a swamp. Standing in front of them is a hut, with children’s skulls surrounding it and a light burning inside. Morpheus tells them not to enter, and they ignore his warning and go in. Inside is a hag, who gleefully exclaims, “Oh, good! DINNER!”
Battle ensues. Darrek eventually makes her explode, and everyone is covered in black ichor. Ew.
Exiting the hut, the group then finds themselves in a hospital room, with a woman who appears to be in a coma. Henry pushes the call nurse button, and a nurse appears who senses as Gifted, but she does not seem able to see, hear, or sense them. After some investigation, they realize that the comatose woman is a “bridge” of sorts and step into her body and are transported to a cavern.
Inside the cavern, there are whisps of spiderwebs everywhere. Multiple bodies hang from the ceiling suspended within the webs, all with looks of horror frozen on their faces. Anita is among them, as is Amanda’s sister.
Looking around the cavern trying to figure out how to reach Anita and the others, Mack sees another group that appears to be fighting something. One of the group has a flaming sword. Everyone can sense energy being drawn from the necromancers somewhere across the gulf.
Henry summons a gigantic claw to extract Anita. As they retrieve her, Matthew sees multiple creatures and a vampire woman rapidly approaching down the corridor behind them. He immolates the corridor with a wall of fire to prevent anything else from coming through, then uses his willpower to open a hole for one of the creatures to fall through. When his fire wall dissipates, the vampire woman is gone. Matthew, Hilda, Mack, Danny, Yun-, and Kat all engage in battle with the creatures. Henry, Darrek, and Alan attempt to wake up Anita. The spiderweb threads surrounding her begin to dissolve and her face becomes visible. As she awakens, one by one, each of the remaining necromancers fades into a silver light and disappears.
Anita sits up to see her dead daughter and her dead lover kneeling in front of her and bursts into tears, sobbing and hugging them both fiercely. Darrek quietly motions to everyone to give her some privacy.
Eventually, Alan walks Anita over to join the rest of the group. He shakes Darrek’s hand before opening a gate to guide them home.
Everyone wakes up in Matthew’s loft. As Anita opens her eyes, Lorelei embraces her.
Memorable Quotes and Moments
Re: Darrek’s protective runes
“She’s going to be so pissed when she wakes up…”-Lorelei
“It’s fine, she’ll get over it.”-Darrek
looking up at the sky
“This would be a really good time to show up with some help, Mom!”-Matthew
“Hey, for once we’re not the epicenter of the Apocalypse-we’re just one of many places it is happening!”-Henry
“Well we know a necro-oh, wait…”-Henry
“We were beginning to think you abandoned us or that something horrible happened.”-Katherine
“Horrible stuff happens to us all the time.”-Mack
“So the boy goes, so goes my nation. I vote for the spell.”-Darrek
“Matthew, I have a thought.”-Hilda
Re: Matthew’s dad
“He must owe you, like, a ton of child support at this point.”-Henry
Re: Matthew mentioning Leslie
Re: Henry’s nightmare
“Oh look, I’m in the closet again!”-Darrek, to Alan (both laugh)
“He did so much better than me…of course he did.”-Darrek
“I think that the lesson here is that if you know Anita, you don’t really die, you just live on forever in a nightmarish Hellscape.”-Henry
“You don’t make a good puppet.”-Darrek
“I’ll keep that in mind when I turn 18 and start my Only Fans.”-Henry
“Don’t look that up.”-Henry
“I live in Hod, I don’t rule it.”-Alan
“What do you even give to a dream demon to try and bribe them?”-Henry
“Baklava. No one can have nightmares when you have delicious baklava.”-Henry
“The way to the heart is through the stomach.”-Henry and Yun-Xun
“Of course it is!”-Darrek
“So the Dreamlands are like Las Vegas-anything can happen, and what happens here, stays here?”-Darrek
Re: Keeping secrets
“I take offense to that, Matthew. I am always very forthcoming, much to Darrek’s chagrin.”-Henry
“The Cathedral of Nightmares.”-Henry
Re: Morpheus’ demonic visage
“Yeah, that is not a good look for you.”-Darrek
Re: Creative problem solving
“I was always good at claw machines.”-Henry
“Brilliant. Bloody brilliant.”-Darrek
In an extra-geeky voice “In my dreams…I’m a WIZARD.”-Henry
Re: Darrek’s protective runes
“WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS ALL OVER ME?!”-Anita
“Please tell me this isn’t indelible ink.”-Anita
“Relax, it’s just eyeliner pencil.”-Henry
To Henry “Don’t tell your mother.”-Darrek