Flanagan (who is, for want of a better word, a pirate) has a plan. It seems relatively simple: kidnap Lena, the Cheo's daughter, demand a vast ransom for her safe return, sit back and wait. Only the Cheo, despotic ruler of the known universe, isn't playing ball. Flanagan and his crew have seen this before, of course, but since they've learned a few tricks from the bad old days (being particularly bad if you happen to have been one of the myriad sons or daughters the Cheo let die rather than give in to blackmail) and since they know something about Lena that should make the plan foolproof, the Cheo's defiance is a major setback. It is a situation that calls for extreme measures. Luckily, Flanagan has considerable experience in this area. . .