Captain Lorq van Ray collects a crew of oddballs as mates on his space ship. His plan, find a Nova and collect 7 tons of illyrion, the power source for space drives. Among those going on his next voyage are a gypsy boy named Mouse whose chief skill is to play the sensory-syrynx, Katin a novelist, Tyy the tarot expert, Sebastian with his 6 pets, the twins -- one albino and one black named Lynceos and Ida. When his former crew member Dan, who is blinded and sensory numb after staring into a Nova jumps into a crater; he acts as warning to the new crew.
Worse yet, Prince and Ruby Red, the spoiled rich kid inheritors of Red Shift, Limited, the company who monopolizes the space craft drive industry want to stop Lorq. While inflight, Lorq remembers meeting Prince and Ruby at his home and then later at a party after winning his first space race.
When the crew reaches Vorpis, they've earned recreation leave time. They enter into town, where Mouse encounters an old friend who is not a net rider, then visit a museum, where Prince makes his first stand against Lorq. Lorq retires his crew toward his home stomping grounds, taking Mouse's old friend to his home in the Pleiades.
As the time for the Nova approaches, the crew gets more nervouse. Eventually, the put down at Lorq's home town, party and when they return to his place, it's showdown time with the Red's. Fleeing from this battle, there's nothing but to fly into the Nova and find what they may.
This report prepared by Sheri Fresonke Harper