Saba is so hardcore in the pit that she's earned a new nickname: "The Angel of Death" (6.1). In other words, girl beats the crud out of her opponents.
Saba's tried to run away several times, but it's pretty much hopeless. The captain of the guards is known as Mad Dog and he keeps a close eye on her.
There are also the nightmares. They happen every night. After one apparently quite loud episode, a girl in a neighboring cell asks Saba if she's okay.
No one has ever done that before. The other girl introduces herself as Helen; she's only been here a few days.
Emmi is able to sneak in every once in a while. Saba can tell how much her little sister has grown up already.
Saba and Helen talk occasionally over the next few nights. Helen isn't as bloodthirsty as our gal, so she's already lost her first two fights.
One night, Saba tells Helen her story. Everything. She even tells her about Trask, that strange traveler who was present for Lugh's birth and "disappeared" immediately afterward (6.93).
Ready for a bombshell? John Trask is Helen's dad. Boom. And here's another whopper: Helen is certain that the Tonton brought Lugh to Freedom Fields in the Black Mountains.
Saba explains further. There's a king around these parts (news to us), and he enacts a bizarre ritual in which he kills a boy born in midwinter at midsummer. Makes him strong and stuff, you know.
Yes, folks: ritual sacrifice. Before these kids can get any further, however, Mad Dog bursts in, pulling Helen away to her presumed death. That was, uh, abrupt.
Saba is fighting a girl named Epona today. As usual, Nero is perched high on a light tower watching the proceedings, which really adds to Saba's whole Angel of Death mystique.
Our girl cleans house—duh. After the fight, a girl who was sitting in the front row approaches Saba and berates her for winning. Her name is Maev.
Maev and Epona are apparently part of a group of female warriors known as "the Free Hawks" (6.218). Sounds legit.
They don't say it directly, but it seems like Saba agrees to lose her future fights to Epona if the Free Hawks will help her escape. Sweet deal.
Saba fills in Emmi a few days later. Emmi has an even bigger surprise, however: the heartstone, freshly stolen from the clutches of Miz Pinch. D'aww.
Later, Saba is standing near the fence between the women's and men's prisons when she sees a hunk with a "lopsided, crook of a smile" (6.275). They enjoy some witty repartee and she learns that his name is Jack.
Flirting achieved, Saba meets with Epona. The plan is that Saba will lose her next two fights. The Free Hawks will then come to the front line of the gauntlet and sneak her out, while Epona escapes amidst the confusion. And then they'll burn Hopetown to the ground. Easy peasy, right?
After Saba loses her first fight, she's met in her cell by none other than the King himself, who's styled exactly like Rooster Pinch's image of Louis XXV.
Oh, yeah, and Miz Pinch is there, too. And you want to know why? She's the King's mom. Yup.
Everyone is ticked off (especially Miz Pinch), but the King eventually accepts the fact that the Angel of Death has just lost her mojo.
After her second loss, Saba sees Jack again. They flirt—again. As Saba walks away, she notices her heartstone tingling suspiciously.
That night, Saba has a trippy dream about rescuing someone from a fire. We smell foreshadowing. And it smells a little burnt.
Saba gets a little out of control during the fight, but she eventually takes the fall like a champ. To her horror, however, the Cage Master announces that the gauntlet run will be taking place at a different spot than usual. That means the entire plan is kaput.
Luckily, Saba scrambles away from the guards and climbs on top of the cage, channeling her inner Mick Foley. She leaps to Nero's light tower perch and barely grabs hold.
Now it's time for another, less advisable leap, straight into the roofs of a bunch of shanty houses. It's a nasty fall, but Saba manages to stand up and keep running.
As Saba runs, she meets up with a Free Hawk named Ash. Saba is hesitant to help given the complete failure of their plan, but she eventually agrees.
Saba and the Free Hawk sneak inside the prison cell holding the female fighters and free them. Huzzah. They make some Molotov cocktails (really) and set the building aflame.
Saba heads to the men's cell block, but she doesn't see Jack. She asks a fleeing fighter, and the kid explains that Jack is probably still locked in solitary isolation inside "the Cooler" (6.603).
Where Ash has just thrown a Molotov cocktail. Whoops.
Saba rushes inside, using the heat of her heartstone to locate Jack. They manage to escape into the streets, which are now chaotic after the Free Hawks' assault.
Saba and Jack run and flirt (duh) and eventually find the Free Hawks at the perimeter of the city. Jack lays a kiss on Saba and runs away. It all happens really fast.
Everyone's okay, Emmi and Nero included. The Free Hawks are going back to their home base in Darktrees, while Saba wants to continue ahead to Freedom Fields.
As they discuss this, they see a massive "cloud of dust" approaching them from behind (6.777). It's the Desert Swan. Saba sends Emmi ahead to Darktrees while she stays behind to fight.
The kids nail the Cage Master with a few arrows, and he falls under the ship. This sends the whole thing out of control, and it crashes—hard.
Everyone looks pretty dead. Rooster, the King, Miz Pinch—the whole lot of them. Well, uh, game over?