Ridley's life functions are restored, but something is wrong. Ridley now discovers he has mental access to the alien history including secrets not known to most Delfinians, including Azrnoth-zin. They finally catch up with the remainder of the Delfinian fleet; the Water Council deems Ridley to be a threat and banishes him to the Displaced Work Force, where every day is a fight for survival. Meanwhile, Azrnoth-zin is tried as a deserter and traitor and is handed a sentence worse than physical death.
Now, many light years from his home world, Ridley comes face to face with the Trochinids, a malevolent alien force moving through the systems, consuming everything in their path. He must use all of his newfound knowledge, along with some good old-fashioned Earth-borne skills to survive the Trochinids, the Delfinian Water Council, the exotic and beautiful squadron commander Mara-jul, and a bunch of displaced aliens who just don't like the way he looks.
Maybe staying dead wasn't such a bad idea.