Brian survives a deadly attack that damages his brain so that he cannot be in any unilateral position of authority for several years. John gets punished for making and installing “illegal” devices and gets sent to the brig. While there the ship is attacked in an ambush. He begs Nivoren to let him take part in the battle but is told that he must serve his time. As the situation worsens, John uses his psychic powers and his adept training to save the ship, without anyone’s knowledge. During a punishment assignment he is approached by a seductive young woman who raises his suspicions. He reports her, and when she is checked out they find that she is a pirate spy. Brian, with the help of John and Linor, is assigned to psychically scan and check out everyone on the ship to uncover any other spies. Through their efforts a number of spies are exposed and brought to trial. With the war against the pirates underway, a number of planets that had more than casual dealings with the pirates secede from the League. Efforts are made to bring them back into the fold without having to reduce them to a primitive technological state and to place them in a five-hundred year Coventry. In an effort to motivate John, he is offered his own Saucer if he can pass the qualifying exams for becoming a journeyman. John saves the ship again, this time as chief gunner in flextime, but is injured by an enemy adept. He gets in trouble again with one of the journeymen on the bridge and gets six hard whacks for his insubordination. In pain, he then has to give his first press conference as the Meisotar on new rules for the Globe system. Jelly, who has recently become a journeyman, is assigned to manage the food services, where he works on eliminating corruption by the civilian contractors. John is sent on a spy mission with his father and grandfather to find the pirate link to a “primitive” planet that had suddenly developed technological products beyond their scientific level of knowledge. When he returns he is called to a disciplinary hearing for his previous insubordination and is sentence to a beating and thirty days in the Patrol reformatory. Most of the planets that had seceded have returned to the League, but there are still a few holdouts. John is sent, along with many others, to stir up the masses on these planets to revolt against their governments or to demand that they rejoin the League immediately. John is suddenly recalled to his ship because of an attempted kidnapping of his beloved Alina. He is later sworn in to take revenge against the pirates who had intended to murder and dismember her in an effort to entrap him and force him into piracy. After accomplishing his revenge mission in less than a day by using his flextime ability, he then goes on to work with Willy, also in flextime, to search out all the rest of the hidden pirate bases. With this information the war against the pirates is brought to its final stage of “mopping up” by the Galactic Patrol. Willy, to his surprise, becomes the new chief of the Special Forces, and immediately begins preparations for the next stage of the ongoing war with the Reptilians. After a failed attempt to motivate John through a behavior-mod program, the journeymen decide on a new strategy. They offer him a chance to acquire technical skills if he will sign a contract with them to buckle down on his apprentice studies under the constant tutelage of the journeymen. He finally passes his exam and receives the promised private saucer, though he almost gets into serious trouble after he begins to take it apart to learn how it works. The Reptilians attack the Globe system home planet of Sotar in a battle within the Sotarian solar system involving millions of Reptilian saucers. With the help of both Wasov and the Wansotar, Willy and John are able to stop this incursion and end this battle with few casualties on the human side. John then returns to Nivoren’s ship “from the hell of war to the prison of apprenticeship”.