(1) Strong Baby finds herself in a nightmare, caused by Tianara’s ectopic pregnancy; Second Sister Ariana intervenes in organic virtual reality.
(2) The Council of First Sisters convenes, with Tianara’s sister Dianire taking her seat; Ariana presents the recorded intervention, and the Council decides on a cruel Darwinian solution.
(3) Deducing that this would be the Council’s choice, Dianire intiates First Sister Rintiala’s plan to save Tianara, and along with Novice Alope, they hide Tianara in the cactus mother Old Bess and rush off to Clan Demetra.
(4) The Tialans and Redourines enter Clan Demetra precincts; Companion Berylia outlines her plan to save Tianara by performing a Caesarean section in the Galiuro, where dying cactus mothers are dumped.
(5) The Tialans and Redourines carry Tianara to Deer Creek in the Galiuro, finding suitable cactus mothers to create an organic virtual reality operating theater.
(6) The Western Bandits, hiding north in Ghost Canyon, come down to abduct the young women, only to be waylaid by clones of Companion Berylia, which was her plan all along.
(7) The Battle of Deer Creek ensues, Western Bandits against Tialans and Redourines, with Alope turning the tide of battle.
(8) Finds-Water arrives to round up the defeated Westerns Bandits, to deport them to the Sky Wanderer’s precincts in Albuquerque, a ghetto too dangerous for any sane denizen of the Empty Earth to inhabit.
(9) With Tianara alive and her new baby healthy, Rintiala concludes that the enterprise was a success, and only the first in a new way of delivering babies otherwise at risk.
Strong Baby is born fully telepathic, and thanks Rintiala, Dianire and Alope for helping her to be born. Even Berylia hears her. They all agree to keep this knowledge to themselves.