Dutch and Johnny aren't thieves, they're Killjoys. Bounty hunters. They haul Coren back to Reclamation Apprehension intake center like they're dropping off laundry to be washed and folded. They're really good at this.
Johnny spies an incoming warrant that is clearly important to him, though he doesn't say anything to Dutch. In fact, he blows her off to spend some time on his own. The odd solo project is nice and all, but lying to your partner of six years probably isn't the best idea.
This is Old Town in Westerley. Clearly times are not great for the citizens, and The Company is cracking down. The Company sounds like bad news, particularly when they start hassling Dutch and her attitude-y bartender friend Pree. Dutch tells Pree she's not sure what Johnny's up to, but she bets it's "something stupid."
Good call by Dutch! Johnny's gone and signed up as an indentured fighter on a slaver ship so he can cage-fight Kobee Andras, the fellow on that warrant. From the sounds of the guy in charge of the fights, Johnny's in for a world of pain.
This is Bellus. She's kind of a mentor to Dutch, but you can tell she shouldn't be crossed. Dutch comes to her looking for some low-level warrants to knock out, but Bellus is like, "What about the level 5 kill warrant you signed on for today? The one I helped Johnny get intel for?" Johnny would be in deep trouble if he got caught chasing down a warrant above his rank (he's a level 3; Dutch is a level 5 but she doesn't take kill orders) so Dutch covers for him.
Hey Johnny. Hey … D'avin? Yep, this is Johnny's brother D'avin, who's been on the run and hiding out under the Kobee Andras alias. Johnny intends to get him out from under the kill warrant and save his life, but clearly these brothers are not on great terms.
Dutch spots a fellow Killjoy, Fancy Lee, in the crowd. Seems this particular warrant was double-booked. So what are the odds they both leave and straighten this snafu out with the home office? Yeah, they don't think so either.
"Don't get excited yet, but I have a half-assed plan." Dutch found out from Bellus that The Company took the warrant out on D'avin, so if they can find someone else The Company wants even more, they can make a trade.
Alvis, the leader of a religious order called Scarbacks, meets with Dutch and Johnny and tells them who the Company's looking for: Rolly Desh, a Scarback/resistance fighter who stole something from the Company. They want it back. He also talks about the rumors of revolution around Westerley. He hopes if it comes to fighting, Dutch will side with Westerley. Dutch reminds him that Killjoys relinquish all citizenship so they're loyal to no one. Which doesn't sound very realistic, as Alvis points out.
The mission takes them to Qresh, the richest planet in the Quad System, where they hold fancy garden parties to celebrate land ownership, because that's the only way to become a citizen and get shares in The Company and generally be the 1%.
While the boys go off to find Desh, Dutch hangs back and tries not to pass out. She spies the gray-haired creeper from the cage-fights staring at her. He calls her "Little Bird." As if he couldn't get creepier! Clearly, he knows her, and she's afraid of him.
Dutch passes out and flashes back to when she was a girl and the creepy guy was teaching her about what happens when she receives a red box: she will have a duty to perform. This particular one seems to involve a scary-looking knife and killing a prisoner. Dutch's past seems messed up.
Johnny and D'avin track down Rolly, and while Johnny tries to talk him down, D'avin doesn't have time for talk and shoots him in the head. Dutch needs them NOW. So that's two different ways of doing business these brothers have!
The boys get cornered by guards in a hallway. Good thing Dutch is awake (thanks to an antidote the creep gave her) and able to toss her necklace made of exploding spider-beads (just go with it) at the guards. If D'avin didn't already find her sexy, he does now.
The Company is perfectly happy to trade the intel Rolly stole for D'avin's life. But the RAC calls Dutch in, because she defied their one code: "The warrant is all." Lucky for her, someone with authority at the RAC decided to clear her of all charges.