With Goth and Throbb aware of the Silverwings' next resting spot, Shade and Marina know that catching up and warning them is more important than ever. Brutus' son, Orestes, is mocked by the other owls for being runty and wimpish. When Brutus orders Atlas to go out on patrol and take Orestes with him, Orestes complains about his wing aching and refuses to go. Brutus, disgusted by his son's lack of interest, leaves him behind.
Shade and Marina are alerted by the cry of a trapped bird and discover Orestes, hanging in a human trap between two trees. Marina convinces the reluctant Shade to help set him free, which they do so by flinging him into the trunk of another tree. As they inspect the dazed Orestes for injury, Atlas descends upon them and brings them to his boss.
The Silverwing colony has endured much to date, especially Frieda, Ariel and Chinook, who have been forced to listen to Bathsheba's endless complaining. After the sawmill incident, they were thrown off schedule and need to make up for lost time. Shade and Marina try to tell Brutus about Goth and Throbb, but the big owl sarcastically dismisses both their testimony and Orestes' claim that the two bats saved his life. Shade and Marina are thrown in prison, but peaceful Orestes tricks the guard and springs them. Orestes claims that after being ignored by his father, he could no longer care less about the war and offers to guide the two bats to the Towers of Fire. Brutus discovers Shade and Marina gone and, convinced that the bats kidnapped Orestes, vows to personally make the bats pay for their crimes, while at the same time, throwing the guard Orestes tricked into prison for his mistake. Shade, Marina and Orestes arrive at the hydroelectric plant, which contains the towers of fire. They land on the roof of a small tool shed and are looking for a spot to rest when things turn dangerous. Goth and Throbb appear from below and ambush them.
In a game of divide and conquer: Shade takes on Goth, Marina distracts Throbb and Orestes purposely frightens the approaching Silverwing colony into altering their course yet again. The ensuing mayhem sees Throbb thrown through through the window of the shed in a fiery explosion. Goth, while chasing Shade, is electrocuted when his metallic band hits a live wire. The giant cannibal is thrown clear into the woods. Throbb finds his brother-in-law's smoking body and crawls away in despair. Shade and Marina, believing Goth to be dead, know that the conflict is still far from over; the battle with the owls has just begun.