Martin finds Simon Fairchild in the Archives and tries to usher him away from a restricted area, but his reactions prompt Martin to ask if Peter Lukas sent him. Simon introduces himself and explains that he is here to answer any questions Martin might have, as repayment for losing a bet to Peter. When confronted, Fairchild cannot give any clear answers about the Extinction, opting instead to insist that the Entities function according to "emotional logic", and that the new Power will be born when it feels like it.
Simon proceeds to present Peter's point of view, according to which the Extinction is bound to emerge very soon, and that its birth has potential to be as devastating as a full manifestation of an ordinary Power. Fairchild disagrees with the latter point, because his patron has gifted him an extremely prolonged existence, which helps put matters into perspective.
He talks about the last ritual he attempted: The Awful Deep in 1853, which was meant to cash in on the aquarium mania and involved a special diving bell full of sacrifices. Simon believes that the ritual failed because it was a bad idea, but interference from a Hunter didn't help either. He begrudges that the world feels too small nowadays.
When asked directly about the Entities, Fairchild doubts their ability to do anything, and their servants are simply trying their best to interpret vague sensations. He compares to being deaf and trying to replicate music heard in a dream, while having to invent the concept of a musical instrument from scratch. Simon concludes by saying that rituals might as well be some cosmic joke, eternally unachievable.
He doesn't say much regarding his own history - only that he has been Simon Fairchild for 80-90 years and came into money by eliminating the previous Mr. Fairchild in a way that included long fall and 1930s tax practices. His servitude to the Falling Titan began during his apprenticeship under Tintoretto, who left young Simon to draw the backgrounds. One day, when he lost his footing, instead of falling to the floor, he fell into the sky.
Martin concludes the meeting by asking if Peter was honest with him about his promise to protect the other, to which Simon replies that Lukas may have oversold his abilities but is trying his best. He theorises that his plan may include something in the Institute, which would require someone touched by Beholding to use it. Fairchild considers it a calculated gamble, but remains unconcerned about the impending apocalypse.
Upon seeing Simon Fairchild leave, Basira confronts Martin about his shady dealings with spooky old men. She seems to know that is was Simon Fairchild. Martin explains that it all comes back to Lukas' Extinction prevention plan, while Basira doubts that they would do the world a favour out of the goodness of their hearts. She shares with Martin the fact that everyone has listened to the tapes he made for John. Listening to Martin talk about the need to prevent the apocalypse, she realises that he does not intend to come out of this alive, but nevertheless decides to trust him on this - and to keep this exchange from John.
- Tintoretto was a famous Venetian painter from the 16th century - meaning that Simon Fairchild is around 500 years old.
- The painting Simon fell in while painting is likely "Il Paradiso" by Tintoretto, which remains one of the largest canvas paintings in the world till this day - a, literally, big picture.