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It felt like yesterday that Dutch and Aneela were engulfed by the Lady’s green goo, and transported to the place of memories where they reunited with their on-again-off-again father Khlyen in order to brave the wilderness of their minds; but it feels like agony for Dutch, who’s dying from a wound she suffered on her way over there. Under Khlyen’s care, she’s directed to look into her past for the solution to her present suffering. And into a flashback we go, all the way back to…
Before she and Johnny were Killjoys! They’re just plain old transporters moving pricey cargo from seller to buyer across the galaxy. Their current mission: deliver a cargo-bay full of something to some army personnel in the Quad. But when they arrive, their cargo is seized, they’re refused pay, and they’re told to take a hike. This doesn’t sit well with Johnny and Dutch, and they stir up a fight at the local watering hole (which they don’t know belongs to Pree). They end up firing at a Killjoy (they don’t know what those are, either) and he arrests them both.
Dutch and Johnny are informed that there’s been a break-in at the Quad, and that all those goods they brought in (very potent poison among them) were burglarized. The Killjoys think they’re somehow connected; and even if they weren’t, Dutch and Johnny have the know-how to track down the goods… in exchange for their conditional release, of course. So Dutch and Johnny rough up some local crooks for their knowledge: they direct them to a an elite party for adulterers-in-the-making. There, Johnny and Dutch pose as a couple of high-society swingers checking in to the hotel for a good time.
They immediately get to work tracking down a trained assassin who acts as courier for the stolen goods. She takes out Johnny, but ultimately succumbs to Dutch’s superior fighting skills. Unfortunately, before they took her out, she was able to smear Johnny with some of the poison, and he’s going to die unless he gets the antidote. Well, Dutch has some tricks up her sleeve that can get it, most of them involving torture. But before he passes out, Johnny persuades Dutch not to revert back to her old ways, and instead show some clemency to the assassin. Dutch relents, and softens the assassin’s heart and grip: she hands over the antidote.
After all is said and done, and Johnny is nursed back to health, the Killjoy commandant offers Dutch and Johnny spots on the team — really the only way that they can buy their freedom. So they accept, and past is prologue. Back to the present, the moral of the memory rings loud for Dutch, and she pulls through. At least temporarily: Khlyen sends her out into the forest where she’s overtaken by the Lady, and forced to her knees.