On the way home from Rigadoré, the Lightspeed Vagabond‘s crew receives an open transmission from Saki, inviting entrants to the First Grand Hunt. With no pressing business, the lure of the large jackpot catches their attention and they decide to participate.
They register for the hunt and are greeted at the Rotaska RIdge Hunting Lodge by Grand Huntmaster Fraym Djan. Not seeing himself as much of a combatant, Paglian stays in the ship. Jaindo and Driver 8 stay behind to watch him, the rest of the crew don’t quite trust him yet. Over the course of the evening, the other entrants arrive:
The groups socialize at a party in their honor. Just for fun, Osimiri uses the Force to begin intimidating the Mandalorian. Eri’anya uses her feminine wiles to seed conflict among the human team. Much boasting is done by all parties. Before the night is done, however, the human team is caught attempting to sabotage The Honor Blessed’s equipment. This is a violation of honor and not tolerated. Their leader is immediately executed, and the rest of the team is forcibly removed from the lodge.
The following morning, the teams are deposited at different locations within the hunting ground. When the drop shuttles leave, the Grand Huntmaster announces that, in addition to the wildlife in the hunting ground, the teams will also be hunting one another…to the death, the last team standing wins. Some teams take one another out over the course of the next hours. The Vagabond crew manages to tame a pair of varactyls, which they also use in surviving the other teams and wildlife. They also discover that the rest of the all-human team were dropped into the hunting ground with no weapons, armor, or other equipment. With just the Vagabond team and The Honor Blessed left, a tense stand-off across a sleeping krayt dragon finally ends with the team ambushing and defeating the Honor Blessed.
Upon returning to the lodge, they discover that the lodge expected The Honor Blessed to win, and that they would pay out the winnings over time. The team comes to an agreement that the lodge will give them a monthly payout over the course of the next 10 months, and the team will hold a lien on the lodge and hunting grounds until it is paid. Returning to the ship, they find Jaindo unconscious, Driver 8 deactivated, and Paglian gone. Security footage shows him leaving the ship and stealing the ship of one of the other entrants in the hunt.