In this stage we learn that something is very wrong, although what that is remains mysterious. We meet our main players and they all embark on a quest to save Colorado from economic destruction.
Things are more hopeful in this period after the success of Dagny's John Galt Line. Hank and Dagny start a relationship and embark on a new quest after they find the motor. However, dread still lurks in the background and soon enters the narrative again.
Things go from bad to worse for our heroes here. People disappear and Hank and Dagny suffer increasing trials. Dagny crashes in Atlantis and has her world flipped upside down when she learns about the strike, which she bring herself to join just yet. Hank is also thrown off-kilter with a series of realizations about his personal life.
Things get worse for everyone after Dagny leaves Atlantis. Though she begins a relationship with Galt, they cannot be together. Hank finally leaves for Atlantis and Dagny suffers alone after Galt's capture. The country's downfall is fast approaching.
Our heroes save Galt and escape to Atlantis as the country descends into chaos and darkness, signaling that the "looters" have been defeated.