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The episode begins with Radu piloting the Starling 9, a tiny shuttle-type craft, back from a mission to pick up fuel, along with Bova. Radu is positively giddy about having the opportunity to pilot a ship, even on a mission that Harlan thought was so boring as to be beneath his own dignity.
Meanwhile, Suzee is upgrading the Christa's thrusters. Harlan kicks in Suzee's new extra speed before she's had a chance to test the modifications, and the Christa goes out of control. They're headed for a collision with the Starling, and Harlan proves he does not have Radu's Andromedan sense of direction, because when Radu says he's banking 15 degrees starboard, Harlan promptly turns port! Oops. He just barely manages to avoid a head on collision, but still clips the Starling, sending her pinwheeling off out of control, with depleting oxygen levels and many life support systems off line.
The Christa is headed into an asteroid field at high speed. Meanwhile, Davenport and Rosie are stuck in the jump tubes.
The Starling has stopped, but everything is broken. They try to repair the ship and get back in contact with the Christa. They have only 20 minutes of air left, and they can't think of what to do.
Harlan is feeling guilty that he foisted off his piloting duties on Radu. Gravity is out in the engineering section, and Suzee is floating into the protomix injection system.
Harlan saves Suzee and restores gravity in engineering. Radu and Bova get a message through to the Christa, indicating that they are in trouble, but they lose contact. They try to reroute the air from the Starling's air brakes to supply extra oxygen, but the failing Starcademy cadets can't figure out how to do it.
Suzee gets the ship under control, but they find the Starling dead in space. Radu and Bova are losing consciousness. They have only 6 minutes of oxygen, but they are 9 minutes away, and the hyperdrive is offline. Suzee tries to help Radu transfer the air from the brakes, as they had intended, but Radu is rapidly losing coherence, and beginning to hallucinate. He loses consciousness before they finish.
The Christa gets back to the Starling as fast as possible, and takes the Starling into the landing bay using tractor beams. But the landing bay airlock doors aren't operating. They get inside and open the airlock. Radu and Bova are still alive.
Harlan: I'm trying to shut the thrusters down, but nothing's happening!
Harlan: We clipped the Starling!
Radu: OK. We're going to be OK.
[after Radu painstakingly removes the air canister from the brake system to provide extra air]
Radu: I never thought it would end like this.
Davenport: So who's flying this blasted ship?!?
Episode Details provided by Tracey Rich.