A Super-Kruga rocket ship landed unexpectedly on Lieutenant Dan Hastings' solar planetoid. It's piloted by its owner, Jansen De Vail, with Sylvia Wyatt as his passenger. The pair are from families recognized by Hastings.
Jansen's compass failed, forcing him to land. Hastings examined the ship. After finding a piece of metal disrupting the compass, Dan states that he is a former rocket tester for the "United States Division of Aviation" and currently "a lieutenant in the Aero Inter-Stellar Guard, stationed here in the interests of my country".
Hastings pulls a gun on De Vail, ordering Jansen to take off in his rocket without Sylvia. After the rocket had left, Sylvia fainted, thinking Dan had kidnapped her. Dan carried her into his house, placing her in the care of a Mercurian named Exal.
When Sylvia awoke, she and Dan spoke outside. A group of rockets stationed on Mercury came to arrest Dan, but Sylvia would not press charges. Hastings told Sylvia that he'd discovered plans of De Vail to kidnap her to hold her hostage. De Vail hoped to retrieve valuable scientific documents from Sylvia's father. Hastings could not understand why De Vail would place a nail file with the compass to throw off the ship. Sylvia explained that the nail file belonged to her, and she had dropped it by accident.