While Holly and Artesielcha check the remaining pylons on the harness still attached to the Willow Eleaine hull, Rex and Rakesh start looking for the best way into the derelict. Artesielcha and Willie head over to the wreck, and tell Lukas to keep an eye on the engines since they continues to have voltage spikes in engine subsystems. Lavender and Zelysithea are in the infirmary preparing in case there is an emergency.
Darion asks Arakawanne how she was able to calculate that a solar flare had pushed the Willow Eleaine to this location. She says it just was, since she is afraid to point out that Darion’s calculations were wrong.
Perdition loses contact with the team on the derelict. Darion, Daphne, Artesielcha, and Lavender go to investigate. They find that the salvage team has stirred up a nest of nasty vermin spider rats – they swarm and attack in the ship’s dining room, and the rescuers are split in half. Artesielcha and Lavender are forced to barricade themselves in a storage room, and Darion and Daphne retreat to the hallway where Darion holds the door open a crack so Daphne can shoot the spider rats with her SMG. Lavender and Artesielcha fight off some spider rats in the storage room, but both are bit. They begin to succumb to the spider rat venom; Lavender must rush to complete an antidote, but to do that she needs an undamaged spider rat venom sac. Artesielcha gets one for her by trapping a spider rat and slamming the door on it, slicing it in half.
Back on Perdition, Lukas is in the engine room monitoring the voltage spikes. He notices that a thruster was plugged and radios Artesielcha. She tells Corey to talk Lukas through how to shut down the thruster. They do this, but there is a pressure buildup that could cause a plasma explosion or leak if they don’t clear the obstruction. Zelysithea is the only mechanically inclined person still on board – she has repaired plasma systems used for ice mining. But it is very physically demanding work and she can’t do it. So the deckhands must be her hands. Zelysithea, Lukas, Tom, and Portia go to the laundry room where there is an access panel, and Lukas and Tom climb between the hulls to reach the thruster. Zelysithea talks them through the repair, and they manage to avert a disaster with only a few minor injuries.
Back on the derelict, Lavender manages to synthesize an antidote (she thinks), but she loses consciousness before she can test it. Artesielcha injects the antidote (she is nearly comatose herself by this point), and thankfully it works. Darion manages to work his way around the dining room, finding Rex, Willie, and Rakesh, and reaches Artesielcha and Lavender.
Artesielcha takes Lavender and Rakesh, both still unconscious from spider rat venom, back to Perdition and the infirmary. She drapes her bedsheet over Lavender so when Lavender wakes up she will smell it and know that they both got out. Darion and Daphne split up to search the rest of the ship. Darion finds a locked case behind the remains of the bar and a biometrically locked attache case, but doesn’t try to open them yet. During his search, Darion is confronted by a crazed bear anthromal, who attacks him with Daphne’s SMG. Darion grapples with the bear, and manages to push them both upwards so he clocks the bear’s head on the ceiling, knocking him out cold. Darion zip ties the bear’s limbs together and locks him in a storage room. Tom and Holly bring a rescue bubble over to transport the bear back to Perdition. There, they clear out everything from the operating theatre in the infirmary, since it has a locking door, and they restrain the prisoner there for now. Darion finds Daphne unconscious and takes her back to Perdition.
Artesielcha sends over a vacuum-sealed box so the salvage crew can bring back spider rat bits. She is in the infirmary tinkering with broken pylon bits; they get enough pylons working on the harness to tow the Willow Eleaine through FTL. Zelysithea is also in the infirmary helping, since she is the only available able-bodied crewmember.
Meanwhile, Darion opens the case he found. In it is a good pump-action shotgun (police issue) with 8 shells. The crew researches the spider rats, and learns that they are hardy vermin that breathe CO2, and their venom causes paralysis and heart failure.
When Lavender finally wakes up, she freaks out and smashes a glass bottle, then slashes Zelysithea across the face with the broken glass and runs for it. Artesielcha gets on the intercom and sings a lullaby to calm Lavender and bring her back, then she carries her back to the infirmary and prompts her to treat the others. Rakesh has a bad allergic reaction to the spider rat venom and he starts to convulse, then his heart stops, forcing quick action by Lavender and Lukas to save him.
As if their troubles aren’t bad enough, the Justicar cruiser Blood Fang arrives on the scene and hails them. The commander, Ivan Barwon, says he has it on good authority that fugitives Tycho Thomson and Aithra Porter (Tom and Portia) are on board, and orders Perdition to surrender. Darion instead decides to outsmart the Justicars. He gets Artesielcha to create a comm relay to bounce their communication signal off of, so that they appear to be in a different location than their ship actually is – this buys some time. But the Blood Fang fires a missile at them, no doubt trying to knock out their pylons. Darion tries everything to fool the missile guidance – he tells Artesielcha to create a power surge, orders Fennel, Tom, and Portia to dump garbage out an airlock as chaff, and he he tries to hack the missile’s guidance computer. Meanwhile, Corey plots a pair of FTL jumps that take them through as much interference as possible. But there is no time to pull Willie and Holly off of the derelict before jumping to FTL.