Ulic has just been rescued from the trial and is back with his friend Sith Exar-Kun. In the previous book, Exar had defeated and killed his master, Vodo Siosk Baas. Now he and Ulic make plans to restore the Sith empire to its former grandeur.
Mandalore tells Ulic of Aleema's treachery in bringing Ulic to trial. Ulic says that he will deal with her in his own way. Aleema comes forward, expressing fake concern for her lover Ulic, and he too fakes concern for her.
Upon Ambria, Master Thon, Nomi, Vima and Sylvar are taking a stroll. Crado and Oss Wilum watch them from an elevated place. Oss commands some dark beasts to freedom and orders them to attack the three Jedi and the child. The beasts obey.
Thon senses danger. The Jedi activate their lightsabers and use the Force to drive back the beasts. Thon senses his apprentice Oss Wilum. With a quick attack, Sylvar renders him harmless. Crado believes that his lover, Sylvar won't harm him. But he is wrong. Sylvar claws his face and Crado runs away, taking his ship back to Exar's place. Sylvar is unhappy with his disappearance. They take Oss under their care.
Elsewhere across the galaxy, pogrom continues under the orders of Exar Kun. Apprentices kill their masters. The light side of the Force is crushed under the dark side. Zona Luka battles her own master Dominus, killing both of them in the process. Dace Diath, Shoaneb Culu and Qrrrl Toq chance upon their corpses and think of the dark times.
Exar and Ulic share the same amount of distrust against Aleema. Exar palns to dispose of her. He orders her to attack a jumpstation, Kemplex-9. Crado is begging to be given another chance. So Exar appoints him as Aleema's battle commander. He then brings her inside Naga Sadow's ship and teaches her to control the Sith magic device to make a star explode. Mandalore is worried at being denied such a great mission, but rests when Ulic unfolds his plans.Ulic bids Aleema good luck.
Upon Ossus, Jedi are gathered to discuss the assassinations. Tott Doneeta brings news of the attack upon Kemplex-9. Thon tells them that the attack might be a decoy. Dace, Shoaneb and Qrrrl decide to counter-attack the Sith at Kemplex-9. The rest stay on Ossus.
The jedi arrive at Kemplex-9 but too late. They however pick up ion trails and give pursuit to the Sith ship.
Inside the Cron Cluster, Aleema concentrates upon her attack. She powers up the Sith magics. The Jedi come very soon, guns blazing. Aleema uses all of her power to rip out the core of a star. The result destroys the Jedi fleet completely. But something goes wrong. Aleema realizes too late that this attack was a ruse to get rid of her. She realizes that her treachery towards Ulic has been exposed. The Sith ship blasts to pieces from the resulting supernovas.
Nearby, Ossus lies directly in the path of the approaching shock-wave. Exar Kun knows that this is the right time to make his move and strip the planet of all its Jedi secrets.