Waiting for the Zeta-Beam in the South African veldt, Adam Strange is shocked to find that the Zeta-Beam never appears. Wondering what happens, he calculates that the next beam will come in about eight days somewhere over the Atlantic. Traveling there at the appropriate time, Strange is relieved to be struck by the Zeta-Beam and transported to Rann. There he is greeted by a frantic Alanna, who was worried she would never see Adam again. She explains that eight days ago, instead of Adam appearing, a lizard creature the Rannians call “Zaradak” appeared instead. They soon realized that the Zeta-Beam that Adam had missed was intercepted by a runaway planet. Since then, the creature has been wreaking havoc on the city of Ranagar.