Back on Earth, Karl D'Branin is talking with his daughter, Skye, about how he has identified an alien ship in space and he wants to connect with it to see if they can help save humanity from a dying Earth.
Dr. Matheson arrives on the Nightflyer and meets the rest of the team that D'Branin has put together: Melantha Jhirl, born and bred for space travel, and Lommie, who communicates with the ship through a neural port in her arm.
The other addition to this mission for communication with the alien Volcryns? A telepath that almost everyone is afraid of named Thale. He is kept in a secure isolation cell and Dr. Matheson is there to keep him calm.
Matheson talks to Thale to make sure that the powerful telepath is not to blame for the problems with the ship. He denies any involvement, and she sedates him in order to calm him down and have a look around. According to Matheson, his creepy drawings are images he receives from the minds of others, and not his own. Not really a relief....