Mysterious phenomenon appear on both sides of a county line, and on both sides a mysterious man asks the townspeople how they would get rid of it. Then the solution magically appears to varying degrees of success. As it turns out, it's all part of an alien betting game.
Space Ranger, Myra, and Cryll are lured into an ambush and kidnapped. Space Ranger is "invited" to a one-on-one combat with the champion of Illyrion. If he refuses, Earthmen will be thought of as cowards; if he accepts and is killed, Earth may go to war with Illyrion.