Uneasy rests the head that wears the crown.
It might be premature to call the Union dead, but it's certainly badly wounded. The destruction of Kraterburg has left a bleeding ulcer in the union - the government's various agencies scattered, and the people who survived the destruction of the capital scattered across tiny islands that once made up a teeming metropolis. For the college, the challenges are simple: carry on, restore order, and find out just what the hell happened.
Athena Valkoinen thinks she might know the answer to that last point. As a Man in White, she's agency's answer to the problem of leadership, and the investigation into who - or what - was responsible is about to touch the lives of many - not the least of which is Vidcund Därk's. Together, they have the potential to bring Agency's influence to new heights - whether or not the military or judiciary would prefer them to.
After all, it's the perfect time. People are running scared. None of Agency's explanations for the destruction of the city are surviving public scrutiny. Martial Law and a loss of government infrastructure are combining to raise tensions to new heights. Nobody trusts anyone, and for the Union, even their neighbours have begun to look furtive. Nobody is more furtive than Louis Raiwnright - a Viscount and servant of the neighbouring city-state of Galba Dea. Athena has a file on him thicker than any mortal man should have, and so does Donnovan Kline.
In and amongst it all, the people of Figaro feel abandoned by their government. Two factions - a half-sanctioned paramilitary known as the Crimson Knights, and the Grey Angels themselves, are vying for temporary control of the island... control someone else would love to wrest from them.