In the meantime, Nama has her own issues to deal with.
The phone call that preceded the Agency car that picked Nama up from the Philippe and Marie DeCouer’s front step mentioned that “Xiao” was currently missing, and that the car would take her to the airport. Instead, the car stops in an alley and the driver reveals himself to be none other than the time-travelling Agent Malcolm. He apologizes for the deception, and admits that Xiao is not missing, and that he really just wanted to make use of Nama‘s as an anchor due to her recently-acquired free will and comparatively massive past. The catacombs are subject to a divergent timestream, and Malcolm wants to use Nama in creating a series of small paradoxes he plans to use as temporal “echolocation”.
Nama follows Malcolm through a portal to an observation deck on a skyscraper in downtown Paris. After checking some readings, Malcolm drops a penny that ends up going through the front windshield of the Undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture’s car, and will cause him to be 10 minutes late to a meeting he should have been on time for.
Their next stop is the apartment of Agent Corvus on the evening of the night Nama, Rerun, Dermit, Fear Factor, Sunnyside, and Emet all arrived. Corvus recognizes neither Malcolm nor Nama. The stop is only a matter of seconds, despite Corvus’ obvious confusion. After leaving, Malcolm confides that he had met with Corvus several days prior and wasn’t recognized then, either.
Adding to the number of unsettling factors is the information that Agent Waxwork’s personal timeline has been interfered with/already flawed enough to cause noticeable interference above the catacombs and make her difficult to track. Malcolm infers that her presence indicates that other factions were aware of Malcolm‘s involvement. He further reveals that his investigations are because he can’t tell if Fionn mac Cumhaill is going to die or not, and that if a god dies before the appropriate time, the backlash is probably not good.
On a lighter note, Malcolm produces Rerun‘s Agency-issued pistol, having retrieved it from the confiscated props from the movie set. He mentions that he had to beat both an American Agency and French Agency recovery team to it.
Nama and Malcolm grab a bite to eat, then head back to the hotel so Nama can pick up her new gear delivered by Mme. DeFleur’s people. She also packs some food and water before she and Malcolm head into the catacombs to rejoin the others.
With Dermit largely non-responsive (but alive) in the bottom of the ravine, Rerun and Fear Factor try to get the two teenage guides to cross the bridge and join the rest of the team, hoping to keep the kids safe. Unfortunately, they don’t navigate the bridge well and one falls, breaking several bones in the rough landing. A fishman is quick to take advantage of the incapacitated teen and swiftly dispatches him. His friend attempts to avenge his death by leaping off of the bridge onto the fishman, but is thwarted and also dispatched.
Nama and Malcolm catch up with the rest of the team, and through their concerted efforts (and Malcolm’s impressive personal arsenal), the fishmen are temporarily beaten back. During the brief respite, Sunnyside suggests using the bridge as a ladder so Dermit can be rescued. Rerun rushes back to the other side of the ravine and undoes the anchoring knots. Nama and Fear Factor descend into the ravine and retrieve Dermit. Fear Factor narrowly avoids being tackled by the returning fishmen as Nama and Sunnyside haul the bridge-ladder back up as soon as he gets a hold of it. The initial process of hurling the free end of the bridge to Rerun is repeated and he crosses without incident. Awkward introductions between various members of the team and Malcolm ensue. Malcolm is able to shed a bit of light on the situation, informing everyone that Corvus possessed 3 books under his bed – the missing one being a second notebook.