Tenchi is out picking a field of carrots, and chasing Ryo-Ohki out of the basket before she can eat them all. Ryo-Ohki suddenly shrieks and runs, which Tenchi writes off as her reaction to the season’s first snowfall.
“My enemies flee! But why?!”
“Because they fear the shadow of death more than they fear you, Spaceknight! This time, however, the devourer will be content with the sacrifice of one soul, Spaceknight… yours!”
In the smashed out remains of Brandy’s laboratory, still littered with the shredded tendrils of the Thornoids, Rom and Brandy stand over Steve, who clutches the body of his friend, Officer Artie Packer. Other employees have gathered on the other side the locked door, trying to investigate the sounds they’ve heard. Brandy tries to get Steve to clear out, but he goes into a rage, blaming Rom for Artie’s death and screaming that they never should have trusted the murderous robot. He says the Wraith had been silent and content in their human disguises on Earth, and only turned to violence when Rom showed up and forced their hand.
“No time to rest… or to mourn the dead. I guess every war has to have its casualties… doesn’t it?”
Along with the rest of the police force, officer Artie Packer has been barred from discussing what they witnessed on that desert road the night before. But, darn it, he just needs to tell somebody, so he swings by Steve Jackson’s auto shop. No sooner is he wondering why there’s a huge hole in the wall does he discover the lifeless body of Rom draped over a hydraulic car lift, Steve doing his best to seal the Spaceknight’s wounded armor with a torch.
“Dogs are animals – and all animals are afraid of fire, right? Right! Okay, I’ve soaked him with the best burning fuel there is – gasoline! Now to ‘Flick my Bic’!”
Dawn blooms the day after the adventures of the last two issues. Steve’s van arrives at his Auto Repair shop and he and Brandy quickly sneak Rom into the garage. The humans, exhausted by events, quickly eat a few burgers while Rom recharges his circuits through a light socket, then shuts down into Rest Mode so as to repair. Steve walks Brandy to her job, and both briefly encounter Artie Packer, a local officer who spins a wild story about what the cops saw on the road the night before.
“I am no sorcerer, Dweller! But the elders of my world saw fit to arm me with Galador’s greatest weapon – the Neutralizer! A weapon which can shatter! And which can sear with seething flames! Thus, I answer fire with fire!”
It’s still night on that road just outside of Clairton, West Virginia. Brand, Steve, and Rom huddle in the woods while police comb through the wreckage from last issue’s battle. Rom isn’t sure if these people are human or Dire Wraith, but he can’t risk using his Neutralizer without giving away his position and endangering Brandy and Steve. As he looks to Brandy wrapped in Steve’s arms, Rom thinks back to the day he volunteered to become a Spaceknight, when his girlfriend Ray-Na confronted him over the choice to give up his humanity and their love.