Chapter 39, the chapter before the next pinch point, is where both Raisa and Ai-mei prepare for battle. Ai-mei knows it won’t be the knockout blow that she desires, but the sooner she strikes, the more damage she can do. Raisa is aware she doesn’t have her ultimate defense deployed, but hopes to survive the weaker attack in shape to prepare her ultimate defense and allow the ICC to stop the Ruby Spider using conventional weapons.
The whole world is alert, preparing for curfews and watching for the first signs of a nanobot attack while the intelligence community seeks to pinpoint Ai-mei’s base of operations and attack points. Neither the ICC or the Ruby Spider bureaucracies will react as swiftly as Raisa and Ai-mei on their fields of maneuvering, so the coming combat will catch the national leaders unprepared.