Having agreed to a duel with the mysterious creature, Kyler Kerand studies his resources and prepares to the best of his ability alongside his recently acquired comrades, Aolen, Aggril Tafan, Bossco, and HK-8H. Little does he know the test is not just for him, but for the fate of the entire rebel camp.
Meanwhile, Kid Kessel and Tychus Huren have recovered from their injuries. They work furiously with Sprocket to complete essential repairs to the Mjölnir, preparing departure from the planet. Commander Organa secures seating aboard the departing vessel, informing base leadership that she is needed elsewhere. Slade and his charge Hadrik and Stims accompany them to monitor their health. The Mjolnir departs after two month’s time.
Then, that night an eerie chilly, yet humid fog roils through the forest to settle upon the valley. The thick mist obscures visibility to anything a little more than a meter away. A foul, swampy odor permeates the air, causing nearly everyone to gag when not using a rebreather. By morning, several Rebels have succumbed to the noxious gas and lost consciousness; they are brought to the infirmary for care and observation.