It’s Independence Day! After being split into two patrolling teams, Doppler and Glitch over night, and Proteus and Sirocco during the day, the Protectors have spent the past week halting minor crimes and breaking up the growing street-level violence between the Iron Dragon Triad and the Genovisi. Having just returned from their evening patrol to debrief, everyone agrees that the conflict between the two is escalating. Furthermore, the limited information they seem to have gathered suggests that a secret meeting between the Genovisi and the Bowden Island Movement is happening that evening, to discuss allying against the Triad. While the others connect with their various street contacts for information, Sirocco, using her Yasmine Anipe identity, pays a visit to Lady Genovisi to discuss the destruction of Yasmine’s gift at the Councilman’s party the week before, and in the hopes of getting more information about events directly from Miss Genovisi. While she is unable to do much in the way of getting more information, Sirocco begins to develop a liking for Lady Genovisi. After finishing a simple dinner together, Yasmine escorts Lady Genovisi out front where a car is waiting to take Lady Genovisi to her next appointment. Moments before getting in the car though, Sirocco notices a strange metal spider climb under the car, and grabs Lady Genovisi, pulling her away just as the car explodes and saving Lady Genovisi’s life.
Shocked by the attack on her life, Lady Genovisi directs her men to take Yasmine home immediately, and excuses herself to deal with other business.
When Sirocco arrives back at the Clubhouse, the team has discovered the time and place of the secret meeting and decide to get an early look at the place. They arrive and take up ambush positions, believing that there is a good chance the place might come under attack during the meeting, but as they wait, instead of the two delegations arriving, a contingent of Genovisi men arrive, heavily armed and ready for a fight.
Confused by the turn of events, the Protectors do not have long to contemplate the situation before four metal automatons, larger than the ones at the Waterfront, erupt from a set of steel drums and begin tearing into the Genovisi men with large machine guns. The Protectors jump into action, taking out the metal foes and even saving some of the Genovisi men, many of whom run off before police show up.
When the police finally do show up, there is a short dispute over who gets to take possession of one of the automatons Sirocco disabled by fusing its insides with glass. The team finally agrees to let the machine be taken to the facilities at The Box, but that Ron and Tech must be there to participate.
At The Box, a laborious process of disassembling the machine reveals little about how it works, but Doppler, using his magical detection technique, discovers that the creatures are animated not through science but through magical means. Leaving the technicians to process the automaton, the Protectors return to the The Clubhouse and discuss this new information, and theorize what happened to the secret meeting before Doppler and Glitch head out on their evening patrol.