Corren, Slabba, and Keeg head to The Station in the Valos system seeking work, along with all the other free traders, from the only credible opportunity in the sector. As the cargo that needs to be shipped is of a limited supply, and sold on a “first come, first serve” basis speed is of the essence. The group immediately get to work making quick “shuttle runs” between planets in the system, delivering the cargo as quickly as they can, and using Keeg’s technical savvy to “bump” their ship ahead of their rivals. It is a tension-filled time for all traders in the sector, with everyone trying to scratch and claw to get whatever they can. The rivalry between Corren and Chordak continued with a fight picked by Corren, but decidedly won by Chordak.
After a few successful runs, Corren receives a message from his friend Axtor Bridgeman who wants to meet him. In a cantina called the Golden Goose, Axtor asks Corren to do him a favour: deliver a personal letter to a person on Starforge Station. Initially hesitant, Corren agrees when it is revealed, in person, that the letter is from no other than Noola Starlight. Just before departing, Keeg examines the letter, breaking the light encryption that is protecting it. The contents of the letter seem innocent enough, but Corren notices that the language of the letter just seems a bit unnatural, or “off.” Taking the letter on board the Snow Raven with their cargo, the group departs for Starforge Station via the hyperspace route known as Smuggler’s Run.
Sometime into the journey, the Snow Raven’s hyperdrive suddenly fails in a large explosion. When Slabba examines it, he quickly determines two things: it is heavily damaged, repairable, but not without significant work; and that its failure was no accident: they were sabotaged. Shortly after discovering this, the ship is attacked by the pirate Mylak. Disabling the ship in a short fight, Mylak and his crew board the Snow Raven. Despite an heroic personal defense by Slabba, the crew is eventually overcome, rendered unconscious and taken captive.
The three awake to find themselves slaves of Mylak, and in a vile cantina known as the Broken Tusk, where gladiatorial bouts are the main entertainment. While Corren and Keeg are forced to watch, Slabba must fight for his life in the “Dool Arena.” Slabba wins his first fight against a Gamorrean with a vibro-axe in a rousing fashion, a disturbing side to the Wookie is revealed as his rips out the heart of his helpless opponent in a gory victory celebration. Meanwhile, Corren and Keeg take in their surroundings and attempt to formulate an escape plan. After discovering that the slave collars they are wearing have an electric shock triggered by close proximity to Mylak, but they fail to use this as an instrument to affect their escape (by hurling Keeg into Mylak). Things get worse for the group when Slabba is quickly rendered unconscious in his second gladiator fight, and Keeg renders himself unconscious trying to pick the lock of his slave collar.
Having had enough of the troublesome group, Mylak takes all three to the local slave market to sell them for whatever he can get, and be rid of their trouble. Slabba, flying into a rage at the thought of being enslaved, rushed at Mylak, overcoming the slave collar’s electricity through sheer force of strength. With a single mighty blow he renders Mylak unconscious. The worst parts of Corren and Slabba’s nature again emerge as both tear into the unconscious pirate, dismembering him in bloody fashion.
The group then flees to the Snow Raven and make good their escape.