With the fleet and crew beginning to suffer from exhaustion, mistakes were made and three ships were unable to jump in time. The inferno had to stay behind and keep these ships alive while the Devoted fleet jumped back in. Kanda managed to once again pull off feats of insane ability (aided by Deadman's special Space Cocain), threading through broken links in the devoted web, but sadly, the ship KibleShrinkstorm's pride did not get so lucky and it's crew was abducted. Spanner managed to get onto the gun pod of the ship he was being detained aboard (on the devoted fleet) and do some damage to the fleet from within. Then he teleported back to the Inferno and they managed to escape with their lives.
Unfortunately, several Devoted jumped onto the inferno as well and they had to be fought off.
Kanda, still on cocaine, charted several more courses, then jumped in the fridge to find herself in experiencing being captive aboard a devoted ship. Lots of Christian Rock posters. It was confusing and she was beligerant.
The fleet jumped again, with the Devoted still following.
The fleet jumped again, with the Devoted still following. The crew had no idea how.
Dylan decided that she wanted to figure out how to wake up Ike. She asked the Captain if she could set about using ship resources and he said she was given "complete latitude" to do "anything she needed" to wake up Ike. So, after some careful deliberation, Dylan hooked up Tick Tock's corpse to the ship's FTL drive and to Ike's container and rerouted enough energy to jump the ship into the cannister with Ike. Ike woke up.
Ike was furious when he heard what had happened. Knowing that the Devoted were using the same jump technique meant that they had another of Ike's kind. The thing is, there are only two of his kind. Ike and Tina. They are both the halfs of a great intellegence that split in half.
Dylan was interested in using Ike to get to the dimension where galateans keep their brains but Ike refused to help unless the crew saved Tina. You see, Ike was under the belief that Tina had already been saved by Ronan, when Ronan rescued Ike. And that they would be reunited when Ike finished his favor.
The party agreed. They would go save Tina.
Ike also explained what the fridge is. He called it a dimensional tear. It is conscious and feels hatred for everyone. But it can be used to create time loop origins so he told the crew to hop in the fridge so they can retain their memory in the event that this whole rescue goes sideways and Ike has to reset time.
So the crew hopped in the fridge.
While in the Fridge, Sledge experienced his own funeral. Thousands gathered on a mud hill and they watched his body. Sledge walked about as a ghost and when Target felt him pass, he called out, and the whole croud engaged in a massive fist fight. Sledge was pleased. Then he was sucked underground and met Black Fin, now fat and huge, reading moby dick. He gave the small book to sledge and told him to read it.
Kanda experienced a forgotten memory from childhood. She was with her mother and Kira Burningheart, back when Kanda was just a child. Kanda watched as sniper shot Kira to the ground and her mother dragged Kira back inside. Kanda's mother then somehow revived Kira, mending her wound with her hand. Then another shot rung out and went straight through Kanda's mother's head. Stonesoul simply smiled and told Kanda it was "Ok" and that "This will all be over soon," and touched her daughter's head. Blackout.
Dylan experienced life as a Bright One. She walked about in a strange land with old statues of arden and human. She was now a he, and he was trying to figure out where he was and why? Then he attended the funeral procession of Drottr. And Dylan began to realize she was in the mind of her own son. Then the other Bright Ones revealed they had played a prank, giving the young Bright One temporary amnesia. Then black out.
Spanner experienced the sensation of being the Devourer.
Then Kanda did some more cocaine.
With the Crew all saved, the fridge were ejected and the party sent the rest of the fleet forward and waited for the devoted to arrive.
When the devoted arrived, they used Ike to make their ship fast enough to avoid the web while Drottr, Dylan, and Spanner teleported to the fleet.
They had a hard time locating Tina and eventually, Kanda was captured by the devoted, while the team was gunned down by Devoted defenses.
Ike hit reset.
They tried again, but this time, Kanda, knowing where the Devoted fleet would be lined up her ship, spoofed it to look like a devoted ship and hopped into the net as soon as they arrived. It was nearly perfect, with the engine crew needing to sprint to the front of the ship to avoid the web at one point.
Aboard the devoted fleet, Spanner realized that the doors on the ships were not actual doors but teleporting waypoints and that he could program any door to teleport them to the "experimental engine." So, on their way, the crew found several sleeping bright ones, and several totally unknown aliens, also sleeping, in pods.
Once they found Tina, Sledge punched her free and Spanner tried to absorb her into his system. The power overload was so massive, he had to syphon it off, bit by bit, to the rest of the devoted fleet, causing a temporary economic collapse among their systems.
Spanner teleported the crew back and they took off with Tina in tow.
With the Inferno back with the fleet, Dylan made her pitch.
The idea was to use Ike, and the fridge, and Spanner's head to create a portal that would allow the crew to go into the universe of galatean minds, so they might make some… adjustments there.
Ike agreed, set up the portal, and explained that he would translate that world so that the ship would be able to go there and the crew would experience physics as they are used to.
Inside the portal was a world of many glowing blue, electric planets. The ship landed on a planet and they realized the surface was covered in hexagonal pillars that raised and lowered in discrete patterns. The group removed one pillar and examined it, then they left.
They determined that each planet was a galatean mind.
Eventually, they found a donut shaped planet and they met a man on that planet, also made of hexagons. This man was like a child's drawing come to life. He spoke in a stilted horrible voice. He wished to be called "elvis."
The crew asked him to take them to where the devoted minds are and he agreed. He got real huge and hugged their ship and the flew him to a place where the planets were surrounded by chunks of discarded materal, as if the planets were all falling apart. Here planets ranged in size from huge to very small.
At this point, Wise Crack mentioned to the captain that itch was back. All the crew was feeling it. So the captain assembled the crew. But Splatter looked ready for violence.
Captain said, "you wanna fight?"
Splatter said "Yeah."
"Then let's fight."
So they did. Splatter got Captain good, but sledge with one punch nearly put a hole right through splatter, downing him instantly. Then, the brawl was on. The kitorin, one by one, gave into the itch and they leaped into the fray with magical darkness and electrified garotte wires. Things looked dicey for a moment until Kanda got on the intercom and shamed them all into passivity.
They were all sent to their rooms and locked in.
Dylan discovered Deadman was attempting to sow several corpses together. Dylan also discovered that Deadman has several corpse drawers.
Anyway, the crew spoke with Elvis about this region of planets and he explained that the planets wer sloughing off parts of themselves that they didn't need to "Play the game." Elvis explained that all the planets are playing the game and he is very lonely. He made a deal with the crew. Elvis will repair the planets (possibly returning som long forgotten sense of empathy and moral reason to the devoted) but in return the crew would have to make one thousand of the planets unable to play the game, so that Elvis could have some friends to talk to.
He explained that while Elvis is unable to destroy, the crew can, and they can destory just the parts of the planets that allow them to interface with "the game" (which in this context means the material plane). Essentially the deal was, he would grant the devoted a higher sense of empathy and ethics in return for permanently severing the minds and bodies of one thousand galateans.
The party was no sure what to do. Knowing there were other donut planets, they went to see the other "gardeners" as he called them to see if they could find another way. The second Gardener was called "James Marsden" and he made the same deal as Elvis but for 850 planets instead of one thousand. The third Gardener in the shape of an arden this time agreed to 750. His name was "The Letter P." The final Gardener agreed to do it for as low as 175 planets (souls, really) but the crew would have to kill the other Gardeners. You see, the Gardeners all wanted more friends, but hated eachother.
At this point, Mickey was basically a full on cat. Dylan had passed out from exhaustion. Sledge could barely speak, and Kanda was… still on space cocaine. So Kanda took "The Letter P"s deal and performed orbital bombardment surgery on 750 planets, removing them from their access to the real world (she picked the smallest planets in the devoted cloud). Then she passed out from the space cocaine. Sledge to the controls, being the only conscious member left on the ship and as he flew out he saw "The Letter P", now massive inside, gathering up all the planets, cackling, shouting "All my new friends! Joy, exhaultation! Look at my new friends!" like a madman.
The fleet jumped. They were no longer being followed.