May 28 – June 4
Liam, Yash, and Hannah Winters go to the Penn Gala, a super-secretive party for the wealthy elite. Liam feels out of place, but Yash and Hannah quickly start shmoozing. Hannah finds a beautiful black man who worked on Wall Street. Yash meets a jovial man named Harry Stanton who is willing to provide investment in Operon Technologies. After their meeting, Liam quickly confronts Yash about Harry’s connections to the Cortez Cartel.
Yash gives Liam his business card and tells the young man to call him the next morning. Liam goes up to a balcony to watch the rest of the party unfold. After a few hours, the whole thing evolves into a drugged orgy. Liam spots the black man walking amongst the partiers, touching each of them in turn. Everyone he touches becomes more violently lustful until he returns to his corner on the opposite balcony. The air becomes tinged red, and Liam hides in the bathroom.
At the stroke of midnight, the haze that had fallen over Yash and the rest is lifted. The glass domed roof of the hall is gone, and rain is pouring in. Yash snaps back to reality, and the partners he was with push him away, not recognizing him. He finds Hannah before leaving, but the black man who had been with Hannah is gone. When they leave, it isn’t raining outside.
The next morning, Liam and Yash connect. Yash feels terrible, and none of his hangover cures seem to work. He and Liam hash out a few theories about just what happened that night. Liam seems to think it was the work of some prankster within the Penn Gala, while Yash is convinced there are deeper ties to Christian mythology. He remembers Mammon and the incubi/succubi, and spins out a story about the black man being a Mammon figure of some sort.
Narrowing the options, Yash tests biological samples from his stool and Hannah’s, as well as endoscopy results from Liam. They all show signs of an unknown compound, giving credence to the idea it was a shared hallucination. Furthermore, the glass dome is still firmly attached to the roof when Liam and Yash stop by Wharton Hall later.
Yash tells his friends about the experience, and asks Reggie Sanderson to look into any pending lawsuits from religious groups. Operon’s monkey compound is being picketed by religious protesters, and Yash wants to make sure they aren’t connected. Yash also delivers a list of all known Penn Gala attendees to Liam to see if something like this has happened before.
Liam immediately hacks into Harry’s private server. He roots around for information regarding the Gala for a second before turning his attention to CC. It appears she had a protection detail assigned to her… even after her father was imprisoned.
Yash meets with Harry to discuss business arrangements. In light of recent events, Operon can only offer Harry a three-quarter percent stake, at most one percent (instead of the promised three percent). Harry, enraged, threatens Yash to fulfill their previous arrangement. Yash skillfully bores Harry away from the prospect, implying that the older man would need to fully understand the nature of what the company was doing in order to invest.
While Liam attempts to reconnect with his estranged father-in-law, Yash begins looking over the records of the rhesus monkey holding facility. Hannah calls him. Reggie is dead.