The heroes with their prisoner, Pankor, radio the Skrull fleet. They promise to trade Admiral Pankor in return for their ship. The officers of the fleet confer to decide whether to accept the trade. Meanwhile, Pankor reveals that the power dampeners were not enough to completely block his powers. He brakes the shackles while talking to the heroes. At which point, they attack to attempt to subdue him once more and prevent the breakdown of their plans. However, Pankor proves to be a difficult opponent and dodges Dr. Tomorrow’s attacks which puncture a hole in the wall of the ship. Pankor flash freezes the other passengers except The Question who proves surprisingly resilient to the cold. Pankor calmly continues to question the heroes about the situation. The Question attacks, however, and is rebuffed. Pankor attempts a portal and teleports back to the surface of Bela. Not before Dialectic can hypno voice Pankor into reheating the ship. The Skrull fleet officers request proof that Pankor is alive before agreeing to the deal. Li-Rogg and Dialetic knowing that Pankor has just escaped, flee the vessel through Pankor’s portal before the Skrull’s destroy it.
Back on Bela, the heroes battle Pankor, Skrulls, and the inhabitants once more. The odds are heavily stacked against them and the group despairs. Pankor is taken down quickly, but the large number of troops keep coming and the already badly injured heroes can’t hold out. Dialectic resolves to kill Pankor, but in the confusion of the battle misses his shot. Dr. Tomorrow takes this opportunity and grabs Pankor intending to take him hostage again. The group is trying to escape, but the soldiers on all sides make the situation seem hopeless. Then, Rasq comes onto the scene by throwing one of the Belanese tanks through the building the two sides are fighting around. This provides a smoke screen through which the group makes their escape.
While escaping from the scene of the chaos, the heroes notice a rupture appear in the sky. Grotesque alien creatures spill out of the split in the fabric of reality and pour forth. The heroes pursuers quickly lose track of their prey and turn to fighting back the strange insectoid creatures that devour everything in their path. Our heroes steal a spaceship from the spaceport and take off intending to escape from the warzone. However, the strange insectoid creatures are everywhere and they attack their new ship. They are able to evade the insects and warp away. They move as quickly as they can towards Shiar space. On their way, they make a supply run on a backward lone planet orbiting a dwarf star.
The planet is uncharted and has the designation ED4589303 located further in their particular sector of the Andromeda Galaxy. The planet has no governing authority and a technology level of roughly modern day Earth. It is in the midst of a cold war between nuclear-armed factions and the heroes hope to avoid conflict as they find their necessary supplies. The inhabitants of the planet are entirely unaccustomed to aliens and panic at the sight of the heroes. The navies of the largest two powers of the planet arrive. The first to arrive makes contact with the heroes and provides them with supplies and are able to somewhat communicate with the heroes via some linguists. The next day while Mona T’zara and other members of the crew repair the ship, process the fuel, and build the workshop, Dr. Tomorrow talks to the inhabitants. They request a translating device and Dr. Tomorrow plays dumb despite having his Universal Translator working once more. This infuriates one of the officers who shoots one of the linguists for their failure. Dr. Tomorrow attempts to fight the navy, but quickly realize that, while he can take down a number of their ships, they will blow him to pieces with their missiles and he escapes back to the ship. The ship takes off and flees that planet and makes the rest of the journey to Shiar space.
The next planet the ship touches down on is Danti. This planet is heavily populated and industrialized. The trader limps into port and the heroes decide that they need to replace it with a ship that is better equipped to handle the stresses they subject their ships too. They wander the streets looking for work and stop in a random, seedy, bar. Li-Rogg splits off from the group here, which surprises no one. Then, they are escorted to the back where an ostentatious gangster sits. He understands they’ve been looking for work and says he might have something for them. They turn down anything dangerous or too illegal and decide to work in an illegal underground pit fighting league. The monster sends them to be checked out by his employee Nock. Who turns out to be the four armed gladiator they first fought. After a brief fight, some tension over Nock getting two of his arms incenerated, they are accepted into the league.