What was thought to be an echoprojection by Zephyr turns out to be a real owl that grabs Shade in its talons. But no sooner does the owl have its prey but a giant bat appears and begins to fight the owl off. Forcing it to the ground, the bat delivers a fatal blow and the owl lays dead behind a vent. Shade and Marina are shocked and relieved as the giant bat politely introduces himself as Goth, and then introduces his oafish brother in-law, Throbb, who is also a huge bat. Despite the fact that they saved Shade's life, Marina is suspect of the motives of the two giant bats. Goth explains that he and Throbb can't read the northern stars and need help getting back to their home in the south. Mistaking Goth for a friend, Shade discloses details of his colony's Sound Map and migration route to the giant bats and then offers them the opportunity to join them. Goth agrees and offers their 'protection' in return. Meanwhile, Chinook warns the Silverwings of the oncoming owls, so Frieda leads the colony into a sawmill and through a lethal obstacle course of conveyor belts and whirring blades. They manage to dodge the blades, logs and owls and escape through the doorway. Goth shares his life story with the small bats; how he was a prince back in the South American jungle where it was always warm and there was a never-ending supply of food, until the humans captured him and Throbb, banded them, and imprisoned them up north. The Silverwing colony hears what Chinook heard from the flying squirrels and decide they must not wait at the water tower, forcing Frieda to break her promise of waiting to Ariel again. Bathsheba takes the opportunity to openly criticize Frieda's decisions of waiting for Shade, but is apparently not well-acknowledged. Brutus meets with the beasts and announces that he is closing the skies to all bats until the bats that killed the owl in the city are captured. He informs the beasts that they are either with him or with the bats, but most of them have their own opinions of where they fit in to the equation. After Shade tells Goth about the great treaty and the war, Marina gets fed up and tells him she's going home. Shade chases after her while Goth and Throbb spy a stray bat passing by. Goth kills the bat and is in the process of eating when Shade returns to tell them of Marina's decision. Goth tells Throbb to 'escort' her back as a return favor. Shade catches a glimpse of the stray bat corpse in the bushes and realizes that Goth and Throbb are cannibals. He catches up with Throbb and Marina and cunningly tricks Throbb into allowing he and Marina to flee. Shade is sickened when he realizes that Goth and Throbb now know the colony's next migration stop. He and Marina head off alone in search of the next landmark, but now have to worry about the two cannibals hunting them down in addition to the owls. Could things get worse?moreless
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