Young Dane's initiation into the secret society of the Invisibles continues with a glimpse at past operatives, a dizzying flight through the eyes of a bird and a terrifying near-death experience that teaches him to see the world with new eyes. All in part 2 of "Down and Out in Heaven and Hell"!
Dane attacks the huntsmen who have cornered him in the alley. The leader of the crew easily evades Dane's lunge, and knocks the boy into a pile of trash. They leave him there, but as they depart they tell him that they can kill him anytime they want to, and that he is nothing.
Dane gets up bloodied and crying. He notices Mad Tom's coat on the ground and goes to see if the old man is okay. Tom appears behind him; apparently unhurt. Dane yells at Tom for abandoning him, and then notices a small, round, blank badge on the ground. Figuring that one of the huntsmen must have dropped it, Dane picks it up and takes it with him. He bitterly tells Tom that he's off, and the old man can do what he likes.
Sometime later, Dane and Mad Tom are walking through a park. Dane absentmindedly kicks at some pigeons, and Tom rebukes him. He tells the youth that the pigeons are just trying to survive same as they are. He then smacks Dane on the back of the head. Dane falls down and admits that he feels odd. Tom covers Dane's eyes, and calls a pigeon to them and then sends it flying away. The old man releases Dane's eyes, and we see that he now has the eyes of a pigeon and is bleeding from them. Dane marvels as he can see whatever the pigeon sees. The sky is red and there is a giant shadow monster atop a building. Mad Tom then tells Dane the true nature of cities. He explains to the boy that a long time ago humanity was infected with a city-virus. What were once agrarian cultures soon became obsessed with building. The cities want humanity to become good builders; to build space ships to take the virus to other worlds. Sometimes cities will talk to you; the word "ixat" is one of their holy names. Sometimes you'll see visions of dead cities long since past on other planets. Tom explains that some people make deals with the cities, and receive their gifts. Mad Tom releases Dane, and the youth returns to normal. Dane asks if he really turned into a pigeon, or if it was just a dream. Tom replies by asking him what makes him think his dreams aren't real.
Tom and Dane stop and sit on a swingset by a church. Dane is telling him about Harmony House, when Tom shushes him. Tom sees two people walking together and talking about "the hand of glory", and "the harlequin". It is a man and a woman dressed in antiquated clothes, presumably from the 1920's. The woman addresses the man as "Freddie" and asks him whether he's afraid of an old man and young boy. Freddie replies that he's become afraid of everything.
Tom and Dane continue their walk. Dane asks Tom when he's going to teach the real magic. Tom answers that he HAS taught Dane all the real magic that he knows; he just put in really deep where it will do the most good. Mad Tom wants to know more about Jack Frost, but Dane says that there's nothing to know, and asks for more information about the Invisibles. Tom explains to Dane that there's a war happening; between the Invisibles and... "you'll find out soon". He tells Dane to enjoy his ignorance.
They've now walked into a set of underground tunnels. Tom asks Dane about his father. Dane answers that his father abandoned them when he was five; Dane doesn't remember him. Tom begins questioning the youth about Jack Frost again, and asks Dane if Jack Frost comes around when he's bad. Dane replies that it's just in his head; he's not afraid of him. Mad Tom goes further and tells Dane that he IS scared of Jack Frost, but he feels that it's worth it because he makes Dane feel tough and spiteful. Mad Tom suddenly balls up his fist and hits Dane in the head. Dane is confused, but Mad Tom continues beating him and insulting him. He knocks Dane into a nearby stream of water, begins holding the boy's head under. He finally lets Dane up and throws him onto the ground. He yells at Dane that he's just like everyone else; a head big enough "to contain whole universes", but instead we fill it broken things and come to the conclusion that is all we are. Dane gasps for air and feels like he's dying. Tom tells the boy that he's not dying, he's "finally living". He grabs Dane's head, and the boy begins having a flashing back to the time his father left. Tom orders Dane to look at the blank badge that he's been holding. Dane looks in bloodied hand at the badge and realizes that it's a mirror. Tom asks him what he sees...
The next page is blank.
Tom stands over Dane, who is lying on the ground outside, with a look of calm upon his face. Tom asks Dane how he feels. Dane replies that feels... amazing. The old man helps Dane up and tells him since he's shown him life; his next step is to show him death. He points to the nearby Canary Wharf and tells Dane that they're going to climb all the way up to the pyramid atop the skyscraper... and then they're going to jump.