In a city that was, relatively recently, stolen by giant bats, a young man wakes up in a holding cell. There's a guard standing watch, though a rather scrawny one.
"—sorry," he says, "I feel very strange and I'm not sure why..."
Oh, wait. This is—the other him, isn't it. The one that's been hinted at in mirrors and alluded to by that nice lady who hired him to do espionage. He still looks like he's human, here, but he isn't, he's the other thing.
Recontextualizing helps. He... settles into himself, somehow. The shape of his body begins to feel more familiar. Unfortunately there is still the matter of the Singer's hand, into which he probably should not place a tentacle. Awkward smile?
"It's very pretty here," he says, hoping to cover for his awkwardness.
"...d'you sometimes find that it isn't?" he says curiously.
"Sorry to hear that," he says. "I guess I don't... remember London ever being any other way."
"Well, you wouldn't, would you? If you're in your thirties I'm the Traitor Empress. And it's not as if it were better before, necessarily. Just... It's so dark now. Who doesn't want a bit of light? Even if it's Cosmogone." She gestures towards the false sun, which is emitting an orangey sort of light.
...light which is, elsewhere, sparkling off some nearby glass? There's a pair of smoked-glass spectacles in that bush. On the face of some kind of urchin.
Squiiiiiint? "Is being watched from the bushes normal in honey-dreams?" he wonders.
"No!" laughs the urchin, hopping out of the bush. "Well actually yes, the Fingerkings are everywhere and watching constantly. But I am a nearly unique feature of your dream because you are interesting!!!"
"You're being a completely different kind of thing than you're s'posed to, and I think that's interesting because so'm I."
"What sort of thing are you supposed to be, then?"
"A boy, an urchin back in London. A Storm-thing, but I thought being a Glass-thing would be more interesting. So here I am! And here you are, being a person-thing!"
The boy extricates himself from the bush, and strides up and offers his hand to one of the tentacles that isn't quite there. "Let's be friends. Folks call me the Winsome Guttersnipe but I'm Ari, really."
"I don't remember my name and I don't know that I'm called much of anything, but it's good to meet you anyway." The tentacle shakes Ari's hand.