On Conscription Day, a balloon bursts. The Spree spell within it causes hundreds of mallgoers to jump to their deaths. The Spree witch who set off the massacre uses a cigarette lighter to burn off her false face. Raelle Collar arrives at her home in the rundown Chippewa Cession. A neighbor is waiting for Raelle to heal her. Blueblood Abigail Bellweather blows off her boyfriend as she awaits The Call. Tally Craven's mother is upset because Tally is enlisting even though she has been exempted from military service. Raelle's father gives her the family's combat charm. Raelle, Abigail, and Tally all answer The Call. The recruits gather at Fort Salem and are welcomed by General Sarah Alder. Raelle is ambivalent about being there since her mother was recently killed in combat. They meet Drill Sergeant Anacostia Quartermain, who will be supervising the recruits' training. Raella, Abigail, and Tally become a unit that will rise or fall together. Raelle and Abigail soon clash. Raelle cuts out on vocal training. She meets Scylla and sparks fly. Anacostia gives Raelle a package of letters from her mother. Tally tries to referee between Abigail and Raelle. Scylla convinces Raelle to try the illegal herb salva, which enables them to levitate. Anacostia catches them and they end up in the infirmary. She warns Scylla to stay away from Raelle. Abigail goes to see General Alder about getting reassigned but gets laughed out of her office. Raelle discovers that Abigail's mother was her mother's commanding officer in her last battle. Raelle charges into training and attacks Abigail and they battle. Anacostia tells Tally about Abigail's request for reassignment. Raelle and Scylla fall into bed. Despite their conflict, the unit shines in training. Scylla is revealed to be a member of the Spree.