After leaving the planet of the Bee People, the Star Force is on its way to Balan, the half-way point between Earth and Iscandar. The jealous Vulgar, now demoted to being General Lysis's aide, decides to see if he can curry favour with Leader Desslok... (more) by defeating the Star Force on his own. Vulgar employs a biological weapon which he had been developing prior to Lysis's arrival -- the Balanosaurus. Using a mental telepathy device, Vulgar forms a neural link between himself and billions of microscopic organisms collected from Balan. Under his control, they join into a giant super-organism, shaped like a salamander swimming through space. Meanwhile, the Star Force is cruising toward planet Balan. Captain Avatar is undergoing an operation to treat the effects of his radiation poisoning, and the remaining bridge crew are left to run the ship in his absence. Vulgar and his support squadron fly out to the Star Force, and bring the Balanosaurus to bear. Without the Captain, Derek Wildstar is forced to make decisions on his own. He fires the Argo's main shock cannons at the beast, but they merely blast it temporarily into bits -- the fragments rejoin! Finally, Wildstar resorts to the Wave Motion Gun, which incinerates enough of the creature's mass to destroy it. On Balan, Lysis goads Vulgar for his failure. Meanwhile, on board the Argo, a recovering Captain Avatar commends Wildstar for his actions and for taking the initiative to lead the crew when Avatar was unable to do so. Earth has 263 days left.