Suzanne is searching for her sister who went missing on an expedition to find a habitable planet, which the human race, including baby Emily and Emily's family, desperately needs. But to do that, first she must take a job as a cruise director on an old star ship with a mysterious captain.
A blast of chilled air startled Suzanne out of the doze she had fallen into during her long wait, huddled in one corner of the bar on Lucifer III. A tall, broad-shouldered man in an old naval engineering officer's great coat stripped of any insignias, opened the bar hatch - they were hatches not doors, as Suzanne had discovered - letting in the frigid air. He stood before the bar, hands deep in its pockets to beat the cold, evidently in a foul mood.
"It's freezing outside Matt," he snapped to the bar tender. "Can't they keep the dome heated?" "Saving energy, Rods," said Matt, and Suzanne knew that the bad-tempered stranger was the person she had travelled three weeks to see. "We need another generating unit on our grid, we need everything."
Rods grunted, said "beer" and slumped into a stool at the opposite end of the tiny bar from Suzanne, not even looking at her although, except for Matt and an older man nursing a drink along the back wall, she was the only other person in the establishment. Both Matt and the man at the back watched with interest as Suzanne levered herself off her stool and approached the trader.
"Excuse me Rods, is it?" she said as Matt, a beefy, balding man who had declared himself to be a friend of Rods, slammed a glass in front of the trader and squirted some beer into with a bar gun.
"Uh," said Rods without turning around. "My sister was on the Dawn Treader."
Rods finally looked around. Suzanne saw steady, grey eyes set in an unshaven face of regular features marred by a long scar that ran from beside the right eye down his cheek. For his part, Rods saw a girl with green eyes, slim build, fine features and short brown hair, but in his recent, bitter experience, good looking girls in bars meant trouble, and he was in no mood for trouble.