While Sstac and General Azzar were returning to New Mars on the Empress, the partner in crime of the thief, Karter, hacked into the Empress' systems to put Karter on the staff. The partner intended to set off a small explosion to damage just one floor and quickly steal from them, but mistimed the explosives and damaged the entire hull. While trying to steal the jewels of two dead Kolgarian delegates, Asnarbi and Musjarna, the jewels shattered and emitted a gas that brought the memories and emotions of Asnarbi and Musjarna into Benny Summerfield and Sstac.
While trying to save themselves from the collapsing ship, the memories of the dead Kolgarians and their quarrelling surfaced in Benny and Sstac. Meanwhile, General Azzar, deciding that the explosion was the result of Queen Bastrovan's retaliation against the Empress, set the ship on a collision course for Ronos Minor, faking a distress call so that armies could start a war against her. Azzar electrocuted herself on the flight controls, while Karter, after being discovered, escaped in the last shuttle. With little oxygen left, the last traces of Asnarbi and Musjarna left Benny and Sstac's minds while they clinged to life. A group of Ice Warriors, answering Azzar's distress call, rescued the survivors on the ship. (AUDIO: The Dance of the Dead)