Synopsis: The Department of Health holds a meeting at the Holy Ghost Church. The community is angry that the city uses controversial Mortalycide III to deal with the growing rat population. A hysterical woman disrupts the heated debate yelling that something is stealing their children. Cloak ends the meeting as a “ghost” by partially materializing. Dagger is horrified and leaves to find the missing kids. Cloak reluctantly joins her. They witness abduction by rats and follow them to the underground lair of Vermin/Rodent. The altered human explains that hunger drove him to eat infected rats. It physically transformed him and allowed him to talk to the rodents. He took the children to avenge the rats’ pesticide deaths. The vigilantes react quickly, but Vermin/Rodent floods the chamber. Dagger protects the children while Cloak transports them to their parents.
Notes: the rat-like character is referred to as "The Rodent" on the cover and as "Vermin" in the story.
Synopsis: Doctor Strange leads Rintrah to an inn on the border of Kamar-Taj. The Sorcerer Supreme finds Jigme, the guide who once led him to the Ancient One’s Lamasery. Stephen convinces the aging scout to lead them there once again. The long path becomes dangerous as the small party struggles through a winter storm unnaturally worsened by an unseen magical force. Doctor Strange tries to counter the danger, but Jigme is caught in the crossfire. He suffers mortal injuries attracting the attention of Valkyrie and the Defenders. The Sorcerer Supreme reluctantly agrees to give the dieing man peace in exchange for the Defenders help in the future. The blood sacrifice pulls him further from the light.