On the darkside of Nightport – a tidal-locked hive of scum and villainy with eternal night and day on different halves – Cyrus Vance and Snargle run from an angry mob of criminals, having stolen a map of the secret route through the Remnants from local scoundrels. Kale and Naomi snipe from The Owl to assist them, but Vance is cornered and has to reveal the tiny scrap of void sorcery he carries in his blood to teleport to a rooftop and be collected.
The crew escape Nightport and begin their voyage to the Remnants, only to realise that the ‘map’ is in fact just a sky-shanty, with lyrics that reveal landmarks and passageways through the asteroid field. More, Lady Blackbird reveals that her destination is the fortress of Uriah Flint, the pirate king and her lover – which draws a dramatic emotional reaction from Cyrus, who was more enamoured of the Lady than anyone had realised.
Tensions on board The Owl are high as they finally reach the Remnants – and become more so when they are attacked by The Blade of Justice, an Imperial frigate commanded by Cyrus’ former lover Karla Duran! Fortunately they cleverly out-maneuver the Blade and target its engines with The Owl’s gun, leaving it disabled in the outer ring of asteroids. They press on, and Lady Blackbird tells Naomi of how she and the pirate king fell in love eight years ago, when she was his prisoner – and how she rescued Naomi from the slave pits because she didn’t want her to go through a miserable life with no opportunity to find love herself.
Finally they get through the Remnants to find the sky pirates’ fortress – a great coral asteroid and a castle assembled from wrecked skyships – and are brought before the dashing and handsome Uriah Flint! At first he treats them as prisoners and verbally spars with Cyrus, but when Lady Blackbird reveals herself the long-separated lovers embrace and kiss, and Flint throws a massive feast and party! …in which he drugs the travellers into unconsciousness.
Cyrus, Kale, Naomi and Snargle wake in chains in the bow of a pirate ship making its way back through the Remnants. Flint admits that his love for the Lady has long since cooled, and he’s more interested in collecting the bounty for her return and Vance’s capture. The travellers manage to escape and fight their way to the bridge, where Flint holds Lady Blackbird captive in void-spider-silk bonds that drain her sorcerous power. As they attempt to rescue her, Flint reveals his own power – he is a disgraced Flameblood scion who can magically summon and control fire.
As Flint and Cyrus duel, Naomi is shot and Kale kills the pilot, leaving the ship to plough into a massive asteroid just as Cyrus confesses his love for Lady Blackbird. (Meanwhile Snargle rushes to untether The Owl, which is being towed along behind.) The battle spills out onto the planetoid, a grassy savannah that soon ignites from Flint’s sorcery. Trying to locate the Lady, Naomi drinks the last remains of the squid ink concoction she got in Haven and touches the consciousness of the giant sky-squid that has followed in their wake – and also finds the Lady, being dragged away by the wounded Flint. Battling through flames, Cyrus engages Flint in a bloody, burning brawl, giving his all to finally batter the pirate king unconscious. All seems lost when two more pirate ships arrive, guns blazing – only to be torn apart by the sky-squid as Snargle brings in The Owl to rescue the crew!
At last leaving the Remnants behind, Cyrus cuts a deal with Karla Duran, handing over Uriah Flint in exchange for a period of freedom. As the Imperial ship leaves, The Owl charts a course back to the Free Worlds, Lady Blackbird comes to terms with the failure of her dreams, and all aboard – smuggler and aristocrat, bodyguard and first mate – look out into the Wild Blue, at open skies, second chances, friendship and freedom.
It is enough.