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Thanks to the new bot they picked up (which Amae dubbed Winniebot), the crew of the Peggy realize their ship is nearly out of fuel. They make a pit stop at the planet of Qualla for a refill. While they’re dillydallying inside a gas station convenience store, the monarchists show up and courteously ask Elida to surrender herself to their custody — at gunpoint. A quick firefight ensues, and the monarchists prevail, stunning the three-person crew.
The monarchists take Elida, Isaac, and Amae to planet Kestallan, the monarchist stronghold, to recuperate. Isaac and Amae come out of the stupor with no problem, but Elida remains knocked out. Turns out, they used a higher voltage stun gun on her — because she’s such a toughie. But, of course, not even an up in voltage is enough to take down Elida, and she wakes up and escapes from her chamber.
When she runs outside, she meets her friend and former courtier to the throne Hath, and they embrace. While Hath and Elida catch up on old times, Isaac and Amae go on a treasure hunt throughout Kestallan. Hath informs Elida that they haven’t even attempted to rescue her mother yet — she’s still in Admiralty custody — but that once they do, they plan to return both of them to the rightful throne of Arriopa. Elida wants no part of that.
Meanwhile, Amae and Isaac make it to an abandoned, quaint ghost town that’s cute for about ten seconds before a swarm of reaper-vermin aliens in rags descends on them. They cut an escape route onto the roof, and trade relationship stories to beguile the time. That is, until Amae has an idea to hail Winniebot to their location and get them out of this mess. It couldn’t come a moment too soon, because even up on the roof our heroes are being besieged by the oversized rats.
And back at monarchist HQ, Elida is punching holes into all her mom’s loyalist friends’ plans to save her, and instead comes up with an idea all her own. Of course, it involves using Peggy the ship, which she and Hath commandeer while Winniebot is off saving Isaac and Amae. Yet another farcical moment at a pivotal plot point in Vagrant Queen!
Hath and Elida land on planet Wreckoor, where Elida calls in a favor owed to her by Clive, a bulbous kingpin with far-reaching powers. While they chat, Amae learns from Winniebot that their ship has flown the proverbial coop. That’s the bad news. The good news is she knows how to repel the vermin: with a loud-pitched noise, which she broadcasts, driving them away.
Back at monarchist HQ, Clive, an ace smuggler, can help Elida and some monarchists slip onto the Republican ship without the use of explosives, which would save them the tipoff. With that on the table, Elida and Hath return to Kestallan for a night of drunken revelry before taking off for the Republican flagship.
Meanwhile, far, far away, one of Clive’s henchmen heads off Elida and her crew to inform Lazo of his boss’ plot with the heiress.