In Babel, Envoy has been "abducted" again, to oversee practice games of Blakatball, the sport she has invented, though the Yodhblakat are turning it into a chaotic mess, to Envoy's chagrin. She tries to persuade the High Priestess, Razardela, of the appropriate changes to make, when Blakat herself shows up, surprising Envoy and taking her seat. Envoy asks Blakat whether she has come to play Blakatball, whereupon Blakat decides that is a splendid idea, and grabs Envoy and takes her down to start forming teams. Blakat chooses several Yodhblakat, while Envoy chooses several of the male cheerleaders abducted by the Yodhblakat from the temple of Inala.
Envoy explains the rules to her recruits, and then the game starts, and Envoy uses various means of distraction to work her way with the "ball" (a melon) toward the opposing goal (a large spike referred to as the "Altar"). When victory is within her grasp … she stops, declares that she quits, tosses the melon over her shoulder, and leaves the playing area. This enrages Blakat, who demands to know why Envoy quit. Envoy explains that if she won, she would probably just end up like she did when she won Inala's contest. Blakat starts to fade away, but she bids Envoy to go and start another game. Envoy takes up the gauntlet, so to speak, and acts as referee over a new game, this time pitting the Inala-ites against another team of Yodhblakat.