It is a dark time for our heroes.

In a rush to rendezvous with Skelly Kandos on Thrin, the crew of the O.R.C. Tyrannus takes off—without checking their ship for deadly, hissing space-assassin-ninjas.

It proves to be a fatal mistake.

Halfway to the moon, the crew is ambushed by five assassins.

Surrounded, A9-LX is reduced to a pile of smoking rubble.

A…TICKING…pile of rubble.

In his death-throes, the droid activates the bomb stored within him. Quick action by Isshtatha and Daymont save the ship from certain destruction. Daymont grabs the bomb, leaps through a window, sprints to the garbage chute, and ejects the incendiary into space.

Meanwhile, Dr. Tark Malin is having fun with molasses.

Vin Sai and Cornelius Vaan jump in to help Dr. Malin finish off the strangely tattooed—and now sticky—assassins.

There is no time for the meat-bags to mourn the passing of A9-LX, however. They arrive on Thrin for a hush-hush meeting with a hoarse miner and his data cube.

But Count Vidian nearly foils their plans with a surprise inspection.

Back on the ship, the zombified Garr Juun slumbers, and the data cube reveals imminent destruction for Thrin and Vor Deo. The heroes ponder their next move…