The Shi’Ar cruiser Skyline Glide and two smaller flanking vessels named Predator’s Claw and Sharp Feather scout for the approaching Uncreated. They finally discover three Uncreated vessels between too huge nebulae. The aliens repeatedly send a one-word-message “Recant“ as a fight starts. The Shi’Ar are able to damage one of the Uncreated vessels, but not before long the Sharp Feather is destroyed by the alien weapons. As the damaged Uncreated ship can still use it’s weapons the Shi’Ar are now outnumbered and a direct hit to the cuiser’s bridge makes it explode. Alone the Predator’s Claw has no chance at all and while the pilot is thinking about her family the craft to is destoyed. The Uncreated move on and continue to broadcast their “Recant“ order.
In her throneroom on Chandilar Lilandra has gathered her ministers and advisers. She fills them in on the mysterious Uncreated and as the aliens are ion a direct course towards Chandilar, she thinks that the best strategy is to mount defenses between them and the approaching Uncreated. T’Cahr, minister of peace is charged with this task; Lilandra arranges private meetings with all her staff members later that day and leaves, that they may think about the situation.
On Standing Still, the Starjammers enjoy a meal with Helek. Chris Summers wonders if the Starjammers still have a purpose. Granted they rescue a few refugees here and liberate a dozen others there, but does any of it matter in the long run ? Yet Helek reassures the Starjammers leader, right before he is handed a small screen with the latests Empire news. They learn that Lilandra declared war against the Uncreated. Raza believesthat this will make their job of rescuing refugees easier, but Hepzibah knows that quite the opposite will be the case. Keeyah leaves to “make the bladders gladder“ and finally Corsair understands how their new pilot was able to outbeat him in any drinking contest. Having two bladders, Keeyah could store more water than the earthman. Helek laughs and blames it on Summers himself, during the past year he could have learned more about Standing Still and it’s occupants.
(Flashback, ca. one year ago)
The Starjammers were on the run from Shi’Ar crafts and had no other choice but to land on Standing Still to hide from the hunting ships, as their own craft was majorly damaged. There the first met the Clench activists, who helped to rebuild their ship and even found a common purpose in ressettling Shi’Ar victims. As the ship’s pilotry computer (Waldo ?) was beyond repair, Helek even appointed Keeyah to become the team’s pilot.
The next morning the team departs on their next rescue mission, but during the flight they start to talk about these Uncreated again. Raza , stemming from a race of warriors, can’t halp to admire the effectiveness of these new race. He thinks that they even could be his people’s precedessors if they had not been extinct. Keeyah, unfamiliar with the personal histories of his teammates asks Raza why he is still alive. Raza explains that his people once warred with the Shi’Ar but lost. Most if not all were killed in battle, and Raza as the last known member of his race, was held in captivity. Finally the Shi’Ar filled his body with machine parts and made him into a powerful cyborg, though unexpectedly they could not break Raza’s will. His story is cut short as the ship arrive at the planet Daimon, their intended location, but it’s orbit is filled with an armada of Shi’Ar crafts. Captain Summaers realizes that if the can see the Shi’Ar so in turn they can spot them and deicdes to flee. Remembering the nebulae only two minutes away, he orders a scanner jamming chaff pod to be fired, and while the Shi’Ar’s sensors are disoriented by the released light and radio-reflective rubbish, the Ship enters the nebulae and switches off it’s drive to too avoid detection.
Once inside the nebulae, Raza picks up something with his scanning console. They are not alone, drifting a short distance from their location is the earlier damaged Uncreated vessel. As the aliens become aware of the Starjammers they fire and the Starjammers take a direct hit. Hepzibah operates the ship’s weapons and launches a counterattack, but the aliens still have enough time to fire a second time. Both beams reach their mark; the Uncreated vessel is destroyed and the Starjammers too have received lots of damage. Shields, engine and most weapons systems are down, leaving them stranded and helpless, and the fight might have exposed their location to the nearby Shi’Ar armada. Still Chris states that they are lucky to be alive, since they were only able to survive as that one vessel had already been damaged before.