He ends up as roommate to a synth-whore who is much more than she appears to be. She gives him his first hand weapon. Which sort of works... And her illegal liquor has a special quality Mathias can't get out of his mind.
Bounty Hunter Linkfall, meanwhile, chases a new Bounty nearby. The most dangerous kind - another Bounty Hunter.
When Mathias calls home he finds that his message account has been hijacked by his angry father who wants answers.
Soon Mathias is deeply involved in ghost town plottings. He has to help find and destroy a mysteriously powerful, buried Reptilian weapon that could fire the first volley in the oncoming War of Conquest.