That night, Kerans and Bodkin silently move along the deck of the testing station. Kerans carefully frees the testing station, and he and Bodkin pole it through the water away from the base and into an inlet. When they have the base centered over a submerged cinema with a flat roof, Kerans goes to the bottom level of the station and opens the port into the water. Water begins to fill the base, and Kerans heads back upstairs to the laboratory. He releases the marmoset and climbs up to the top deck, where Bodkin is watching them sink. The station comes to rest on the cinema. Kerans and Bodkin sign a note and pin it to the door. They get in Kerans’s catamaran and paddle away.
By sinking the station, Kerans and Bodkin make it impossible for Riggs and those at Camp Byrd to even try to use any of the scientific data they've collected. Essentially, they insist that Riggs accept their line of thinking that says that trying to understand the world according to old systems isn't worth doing. By putting the station on a submerged cinema, they put it on something that once could show images of an idealized world. Now that the cinema is underwater, the idealized world it once showed is underwater and unreachable.
The next morning, Kerans and Bodkin watch from Beatrice's apartment as the helicopter tries to land on the roof of the building. Earlier, Bodkin and Kerans piled kerosene drums on the roof to deter the helicopter from landing. Daley turns the helicopter so the open hatch faces the windows. Two soldiers hold Riggs as he yells into the megaphone, but Beatrice and Kerans can't hear him. When he's finished, the helicopter heads back to the base.
Now, Kerans and Bodkin are not only passively resisting but actively fighting Riggs and his men. Riggs's actions make it abundantly clear that he's not yet experiencing the dreams. He still believes that going north is the only reasonable action because he still believes in a future for humanity on earth.
Earlier that morning, Riggs had tried to refloat the testing station. He sent the cutter to Beatrice's apartment, only to find the elevator out of order, which culminated in his attempt to reach Kerans and Bodkin via helicopter. After trying to speak to them, Riggs and the base leave the city.
Kerans and Bodkin take advantage of the heat and of Riggs's dependency on creature comforts like elevators to deter him from reaching them. In doing so, they let go of their last chance to escape north with Riggs.
Beatrice expresses her relief that Riggs is gone, while Kerans realizes that he'd been dependent on Riggs’s good humor. He realizes it's up to him to keep up the confidence in the remaining residents of the city. He and Beatrice go to find Bodkin in the lounge and continue making plans. They discuss how long the air conditioning and the food will last. Beatrice tells Kerans to shut up and stop acting like a military man. Kerans salutes her and turns to look at the painting by Ernst. He thinks that the scene in the painting, the landscape outside, and the dreams they all have are becoming very similar.
When Beatrice tells Kerans to stop acting like a military man, she's insisting that they move away from regimented, “civilized” systems of organization and instead allow the dreams and their neuronic journeys run their course. The Ernst painting represents the past, while the view out the window shows the present, and their dreams represent the future—though, in the swirl of the changing planet, the linearity of time itself is disrupted.
Kerans realizes that the unity of the group won't last. He understands that they're entering a new way of being, and they need to each live alone in order to descend through the "time jungles" of their dreams.