Cover Artist: Torstein Nordstrand
After some time out in the Tythan system, Je'daii Ranger Lanoree Brock is called back to Thython to a covert meeting with a number of Je'daii Masters. Apparently someone believes that there is a hypergate buried in the Old City on Tython and wants to open it using dark matter. Lanoree is being tasked to stop him for several reasons, the most important being that there is a rumour that it is Dalien Brock, her brother, thought dead for years, who is behind this plot. On the suggestion of one of the Masters, Lanoree's first stop is Kalimahr to find a Twi'lek named Tre Sana, who she learns has been genetically modified, by Je'daii Master Dam-Powl. After meeting with Tre, Lanoree continues to have a feeling of being watched and followed, and using the Force, discovers a Noghri. As soon as the Noghri learns he has been found out, he runs with Lanoree giving chase. She finally catches him as he's transmitting data about her elsewhere, but before she can question him, he blows himself up. Later, Tre takes her to meet with Kara, an enigmatic woman who finances the Stargazer sect. While trying to get information, Lanoree discovers that Kara believes she was once a Je'daii, but Kara doesn't wish to discuss it further and asks them to leave, at which point Tre shoots her to knock her out and they search the room for more information. Right before security arrives, Lanoree discovers a cache of ancient books, and takes one at the direction of the Force. They escape, and later she discovers the book she took is the diary of Osamael Or, a Je'daii explorer who supposedly disappeared in the bowels of the Old City some nine thousand years before. Lanoree then contacts Master Dam-Powl and passes on what she has learned so far and then takes them to the likely meeting place for the Stargazers. They find the meeting place hastily abandoned, but Tre finds a damaged communication device and a bomb. They escape with moments to spare, and after Lanoree's droid deciphers the scrambled messages, they learn that the Stargazers headed for Nox, so they follow.Upon arriving at Nox, they meet with one of Tre's business associates who informs them that Dal and the Stargazers are hiding, and tells them where. Lanoree and Tre infiltrate the shelter, where they find Dal just as his scientists put the finishing touches on the dark matter device. Dal takes them prisoner, and leaves with his device after setting a bomb and starting a fight in the city. Lanoree and Tre make their way through the pitched battle to their ship hiding outside, and take off, following the tracker that she planted on Dal and fighting off attacking fighters, as they make their way to Sunspot. On Sunspot, Lanoree leaves a sick Tre on her ship and follows her brother down into a mine and is captured again. This time, she watches as he charges his device, and pulls his blaster on her. She uses the the Force to try and protect herself as he pulls the trigger. She awakens some time later, being taken to her ship by Tre and her droid. On her ship, she uses the Force and an experiment whe's been working on to heal herself, and they escape the planet heading to Tython, as a huge Force Storm arises on Tython. They find Dal's ship crashed on the way to the Old City and so are able to significantly shorten the distance between them. Making their way down through the city, they come to a trap where Tre is shot and left on the brink of death. Not being able to help, Lanoree continues to follow her brother, until it is just him and her. Confronting her brother, he attempts to activate his device but she uses the Force to send feelings and memories into his head. Enraged, he attacks her and after a brief fight, she is forced to kill her brother. Returning to the temple at Anil Kesh with Tre barely hanging onto life, she learns of the incoming ship that coincided with the Force Storm. After discussing her mission with Master Dam-Powl, she has questions that can only be answered by returning to Kalimahr, and so she does so. Arriving at Kara's apartment, she finds it clean and abandoned. She learns that a number of high ranking officals had all vanished, right around the same time, and suspects that they may have been the real Stargazers, manipulating everyone from behind the scenes.