Tesar doesn’t understand how they can see the Vong with the voxyn queen outside the airlock. Tenel Ka thinks there must be some kind of atmosphere there. Vergere asks if they can think of what else might be. Ganner is growing tired of her lack of information.
Jacen reaches out for the voxyn queen after filling his mind with fear and suspicion. Once again, as it had before, the voxyn attacks a couple of the Vong instead. The shaper has to soothe her before the group begins anew. That leaves only four left.
Jacen isn’t comfortable killing, much less tricking an animal into killing. But he has a promise to keep to Anakin and a sister he will have to find soon. Though Vergere has been helpful in helping them track the Vong, Ganner does not trust her. He has kept a blaster at her back the entire time. She will not tell them who or what she is, why she was with Elan during the attempt on the Jedi or why she provided her tears to save Mara.
At the airlock, the Jedi activate their holoshrouds and appear as Vong again. They are on the inside rim of a huge crater. There is no covering and the atmosphere is thick and warm. It’s as if they are still inside the worldship. Jacen still cannot sense the dovin basals but he can tell by looking that they are in distress. There is something here – age, disease, fatigue – something that’s causing the Vong to abandon it.
Nom Anor and his group are approaching the crashed remains of the shuttle Jaina stole. Vergere wonders if Jacen will destroy the voxyn or use the opportunity to save his sister. He may not need to decide. The longblaster cuts down a warrior. Tekli can’t understand why the frigate doesn’t just destroy the shuttle. Vergere suggests there’s something in it they want alive.
Jacen understands she means Jaina. Vergere adds that they want him, too. Tsavong Lah has promised a pair of Jedi twins to Yun-Yammka for the fall of Coruscant. If she’s dead, Nom Anor will answer for it. Jacen could sense her and spare Anor the trouble. After all, don’t Jedi twins have a special bond? Jacen tells her that she shouldn’t place too much trust in bar stories.
Tesar admits they only have two or three shots left on the mini-cannon. They will have to destroy the queen now. Vergere doubts they have time to do that and save the others. Jacen has a plan which he explains to the others. When they’re done, Vergere can either come with them or stay. They will watch her until then.
She reveals who they will find aboard the frigate. Tesar will keep that in mind, as well as the fact that all this comes from her. He sneaks out over the basin rim. Jacen fills his mind with memories of the Shadow Academy and how helpless he felt. He reaches out to the voxyn so she will feel the same.
She screaches and runs off, cutting one warrior in two when it gets in her way. The shaper rushes after her. Jacen sends the urge to distrust. She whirls around, spits acid and hits one of the other escorts when the shaper jumps out of the way.
Jacen grabs his lightsaber and tells the others he has to concentrate on the voxyn and not on the battle meld. Tenel Ka moves to kiss him, but Vergere gets in the way, telling him to hurry. He rolls his eyes, grins at Tenel Ka and descends the rim in two jumps. He lands behind the last escorts, hoping to stun him rather than kill him. He reaches out to pull off the other’s helmet and realizes his mistake when the warrior spins around. Jacen ignites his lightsaber, cuts off the forearm and is then forced to kill his attacker. His comlink sounds with Zekk’s voice, asking if that’s Jacen. Jacen asks what their condition is. Zekk reports that there are a few injuries, but they have Lowbacca and Anakin’s body. Jaina is there, but there’s something he’s not saying. Jacen decides just to be happy she’s alive.
The ramp guards on the frigate are too tempted at the presence of a Jedi to be vigilant. Three of them race toward him, leaving only one behind. Tesar creeps around to pounce on the remaining one.
As Jacen goes after the shaper and voyxn, the minicannon kills two of his pursuers. Tesar should be boarding the frigate with the others behind him. He tries to use the Force to calm the queen, but the plasma balls and lasers are making it difficult. He throws a thermal detonator bolstered by the Force at her. She whirls away, knocking the shaper to the side and races toward Jacen.
Acid spitting at him, he has to dodge and then finds himself partially blinded when the detonator goes off. Tenel Ka tells him they’ve secured the freighter but they have a problem. The communications officer was in contact with the spaceport. Vergere decided she didn’t want to be atomized and left.
They think she’s following Jacen.
Jacen urges them to get to the shuttle for now. He goes after the queen again, slashing at her with his lightsaber. A razor bug comes at him. He zaps it out of existence, not knowing where it had come from. The stolen frigate is moving now, Nom Anor and the other warriors staring at it. Others are creeping toward Jacen.
He is forced to cut into the shaper when the fellow launches himself at Jacen. The queen is resolved to stay alive. Jacen doesn’t want to kill her. She may realize that.
He pulls his remaining detonator off and is surprised when the queen snaps at his head, only to grab his shoulder. He’s pushed off his seat. Flinging himself to the other side, he follows with a jump, coming down on his heels.
Jacen avoids a spat of brown mucus, then finds himself separated from the queen by a large pool of her acid. Suddenly, a thermal detonator falls down to him. Vergere asks if that’s important; she saw him drop it.
The queen doesn’t know that he cannot set the fuse. He goes after her, using her fear of the small silver sphere, jumping on her, stabbing her with his lightsaber as she stabs him with her stinger.
He collapses as she falls over the edge of the convergence. Someone lifts his arm. He hears a voice calling his name. Then another voice responding that they should save themselves because they cannot help Jacen now. The first voice demands to speak to her brother.
A hand grabbed his lightsaber and Anakin’s. He is told that he won his battles and must pay for them now. Remembering the torture aboard the Exquisite Death, he calms his body and smiles. At least the Jedi are safe. His own pain means nothing.
Vergere tells him that it will.
He sees her crying. She admits she was crying for him.