In which RGB, Hero, and Assok find an unconventional way back to the ground, discover the tree they sheltered in was more than it seemed, and confront two former Heroes.
In-depth summary Edit
Hero and RGB awaken to find that the tree they rested in has flown up into the air during the night, as well as changed in color and begun to move in the shape of deer trying to break free. RGB explains that it is remembering and healing, and the two begin to think about how to get down. At Hero's suggestion and RGB's slight hesitation, they use his cane to zip-line down the remaining tether onto the ground. As they travel, Hero asks what will happen to it next, and as it forms into the shape of a heart she notices that it now has golden glowing leaves. Meanwhile, the tree can be seen throughout the world, leaving The Idea, Dial, TOby, and Madras stunned at the sight of it.
Presumably RGB's grip slips or the tether breaks near to the ground, dumping both of them and Assok into a pile of pink gunk. Hero exclaims she want to do it again, and while she helps RGB up, Assok bites into the remaining tether. Hero joins the sock, leaving RGB in the goop, and the tree snaps free to fly into the distance. They watch it go, and RGB checks that Hero hasn't been harmed by contact with the gunk, and clarifies that she found Assok in a crack at the base of the tree. He pauses, bends down, and calls them transcendent.
They start traveling again, taking with them some of the Blank and spooling it into a ball. Hero experimentally puts some in the gap between RGB's pant leg and shoe, causing him to collapse. While he's down, he's slammed into by a furious Julienne, who tries to stab him as they get further entangled in the long string of Blank. She is momentarily pacified when she spots Hero, who compliments and pats her. She refuses to untie them unless she is taken home, and Julienne attempts to fly away and free herself, failing miserably. She cries out for Melody, who blasts them all across the plain with a forte note, untangling everyone. Assok, annoyed, screams back a mess of regurgitated dialogue at four times the volume.
- "Hart" is another name for a deer, making the Sun/Tree a "Heart of Harts"
- The title most obviously seems to refer to a (heart)beat, but could also be a (story/filmmaking) beat (a pause before a turning point), the (wing)beats of Julienne, the beat(down) RGB receives at her hand, a (musical) beat that might reference Melody, the feeling of being pretty wiped out by the events of the day (RGB surely has this), or "beat" as in defeat (the stalemate everyone is in by the end of the chapter)