The Queen arrives in Souris and docks at a Phorlorn-controlled orbital station for some long overdue maintenance. As usual, Arek manages to turn their meagre commercial activity into enough credit to keep the ship flying. While they wait for maintenance to be completed, the crew tries to find out what they’ve missed during their extended stay on Nylig.
Arek taps into some bureaucratic channels and finds out that Phorlorn is considering a withdrawal from Nylig. For now, their forces have been pulled back into defensive formation around their orbital base in the system. Joe and Mishka put in some time spreading rumors that the Senate bombing was an inside job planned by Phorlorn’s Military High Command.
The rest of the crew leave Zeke and Thadius on The Queen and head down to the planet to meet Marcellus. The meeting takes place in a fortified bunker situated in a small town controlled by The Resistance. They’ve been making some progress, but Marcellus looks like he’s paying the price with his health. He thanks and congratulates the crew on their actions against Phorlorn and expresses enthusiasm for their plan to attack the orbital base on Nylig. He promises to gather a few dozen EVA-trained soldiers and four gunships to aid in the assault.
Marcellus needs a month to gather his resources, so our heroes head over to Carthane so Joe can do the personal appearance he promised to the crew that delivered the unobtanium to Nylig. The event goes smoothly, with the exception of a minor disturbance that Mishka tracks back to some thugs hired by Phorlornese spies.
In an effort to expose the spies, Joe arranges for the crew to be invited to the season opener of the local blurnsball league, where he has the honor of singing the planetary anthem. At the after-party, our heroes make valiant efforts to bring the spies into the open, but the Phorlornese prove too wily for them.
Their business in Carthane complete, the crew return to Souris, only to be intercepted by several dozen Phorlorn vessels massing for a jump back to Phorlorn. Arek charms his way through their objections and finds out that the Phorlorn home system is in chaos after an attack they attribute to The Resistance. In response, martial law has been declared on Souris, and Marcellus is unable to follow through with his promised resources.
Forced to delay their assault on the Nylig orbital base, our heroes take a cruise over to Zaborav to investigate rumors of unidentified ships in the system. They encounter four vessels of unknown origin and make contact with them. The vessels prove to be from a warlike system newly attached to the cluster. The newcomers take exception to The Queen’s aggressive scanning, but no shots are fired and the encounter ends peacefully.
Mishka and Zeke pinpoint the new slipstream and take the ship through to the new system of Goshi. They encounter and befriend Admiral Galt of the Goshi League of Nations who directs them to a specific orbital base. Once on the base they discover that Goshi intends to attack Phorlorn despite the technological edge they’ll be giving up.
How will The Dancing Queen factor into these momentous new events?