Having returned to the planet Drall, Viktor and his mechanic, Ziggy began to prepare their ship (the “Tanoran Sun”) for a voyage, Randall went to the hospital to get his wounds regenerated, and Cleopatra went with Joseph and Chez to visit Cleopatra’s advisor: Professor Arthur Dent.
Professor Arthur was pleased to see her and had some exciting news. His research group had managed to purchase a significant (but potentially dangerous) Ancient Race artifact. Apparently some Wheelees had discovered a very old (pre-civilization) spacecraft in interstellar space. One thing they found inside was a robot built to look like a biological creature of some species they didn’t recognize. They managed to activate it(!) and attached a communication device. Then after a brief conversation, the thing went haywire and began killing Wheelees until it finally shut down. Afraid of a repeat performance, they were willing to sell it to the research university.
Professor Arthur was showing this to Cleopatra, when the device activated again! It appeared somewhat hostile, and began what might have been an attack, but in an astonishing display of speed, Chez managed to block it before it could do an harm (although it did scare Professor Arthur out of the room). They were able to attach the communications device and began talking with it, and things calmed down rapidly. Viktor, having found some cargo (mail shipments) and completed readying the ship, came to the university, knocked on the door of the laboratory and joined the group conversing with the robot, which was carrying a huge sword and which said its name was “Starkiller”. It said very little else useful, claiming that its memory had been erased.
From another door, Tanya (a meerkat who is another of Professor Arthur’s graduate students) burst excitedly into the room exclaiming with glee about the discovery. At that, Starkiller leapt up and attacked Tanya. Chez tried to stop it, but was unable to tear the sword from its hands, and Tanya took a very serious blow. Viktor left rapidly by the other door to call security, Joseph tried to get the wounded Tanya out of the room, Cleopatra melted into a puddle to avoid the fray, and Chez attempted to get the matter under control. A few moments later, Viktor returned with two security guards. Again, Starkiller attempted to attack the guards, but they managed to subdue him with a netgun.
Some tense negotiation with the university followed. Starkiller claimed it was bound to protect Cleopatra, Joseph and Chez, and that “honor” required it to attack the others. This was NOT looked on kindly by the university authorities. Finally the matter was resolved when, checking the star maps, Joseph found that by great coincidence one wormhole and a single short jump would lead to the ship that Starkiller had been found on. He was remanded to the custody of the group, everyone got on board the Tanoran Sun, and they were off.
The travel through the wormhole and then through Null Space to Starkiller’s ship went without incident. But once there, the Wheelees were still conducting a slavage operation and they did not want anyone honing in on their find. So after some brief discussion the group continued on to Harconan to get Joseph’s historical records.