While on what should have been a long and lazy sail on the River Lhar, Alan, Desa and Luray are put into grave danger when they flee from an attempt to re-capture him.
The second volume of The Second Expedition opens several story lines as the expedition separates and the systems administrator finds she must be in two places at once. The girls have their trials with Alan's culture and their own. The crew thinks the knowledge in Alan's mind is their main danger, not the meetings between native wizards concerning the apparitions in their sky.
Alfred arrived back at his quarters, tired of the security meetings. There had been five hours of them so far since last Saturday night, another hour first thing this morning, and there were two lines uttered in total that summed up everything there was to know about Alan's defection.