Moonshadow's narration of his early life continues, this time starting with a passage from the Lord of the Rings, detailing the Ride of the Rohirrim. He contrasts that epic description of battle with his mother's antiwar views of the Vietnam era. We discover that not only does she share the standard hippie peace-based ethos, but her childhood best friend was killed in the army.
Moon and Ira, caught for stealing the Godsegg, are sentenced to join the military. The kingdom of Machovia has been in a long and bloody war with Goyimia, and they are sent on a secret mission along with a squad that includes Sergeant Chesterbarrel, Horntoad, and Rigarollo. They are to investigate a doomsday weapon created by the mysterious Lord Gaylord on the planet Bingbangboom.
Moon, Ira, and Chesterbarrel eventually find Gaylord, who is actually running a peace commune; his weapon is actually just pretend, so that the Machovians and Goyimians don't bother him and his people. Chesterbarrel stays, but Ira and Moon leave, since it reminds them of the stasis of the Zoo.
Their squad then moves on to the war's front, on Tsuris, where Moon's Romantic ideals of war, learned from innumerable swashbuckling stories, are crushed by its reality. The squad is separated and Moon is wounded.