On their way to Valare manor, off the city’s boundaries, the crew spot a car following them. It turns out the Whale had sent them backup in the persons of Francisco and Maya, two of her long time associates.
Reaching the manor, they find it heavily guarded and opt for subterfuge to get in, with Jacob taking the appearance of the late Rusila Alvid. Inside on the first floor they find some servants and guests, both in ghosting form, like SIMs (which is not supposed to be the case in virtualities). The only ‘real’ person appears to be the butler, who barely acknowledges them.
On the first floor they go through a series of rooms without being able to locate the way up, when suddenly they are called out by the butler, walking upside-down on the ceiling. He doesn’t appreciate at all them poking around and responds forcefully to their request for seeing Mr. Valare. Thugs join in the confrontations, as well as ‘ghostling’ from the lower floor, turning the house into a war zone.
At the end the crew are the last ones standing and are able to reach the second floor. There Valare awaits them in the master bedroom, behind a thick glass wall. he is assisted by a huge, fat nurse at his bedside. The butler is present there again as well, silently overseeing.
Valare himself appears to be a wizened old man who is stuck in bad and can only communicate through the display of his life-sustaining apparatus. He used to be a crimelord even back on Earth before the war, an Alliance loyalist during it and a House Turin boss afterward. He abused the mindset technology to the extreme consequences, forking himself an indefinite number of times: this has allowed him immortality and hive-mind awareness across all his forks, but at the same time has stretched his mind so much that he has lost control of his own body, even in a virtuality.
The crew confronts him with evidence of his involvement both in Second Chances traffic of cores and the smuggling of Tsarya’s weapons to anti-Coalition groups (the Talons) – he appears particularly upset about learning those had been delivered to Federation-side Remnants.
As a conclusion the parties come to agree on a truce between House Turin and the Whale, as long as some sensitive information will not be divulged. For final settlement with the crew Valare provides them with a Second Chance authorization code, to go and collect any of their own core backups that had been stored there.