Now reasonably familiar with the gashants they would be riding, the group set out onboard the galley Meepsoori Sprite along the canal towards Shastapsh. Accompanying them were handlers for the ruumet breehrs and four Martian mercenaries. Before the craft reached their point of departure, a band of High Martians were noted, sporting nets and apparently intending to take prisoners. A firefight ensued; thought the High Martians were all killed or chased away, Battersby and one of the mercenaries were wounded, and Abernathy was caught up in a net…only a lucky shot by the Royal Navy officer felled his captor, spilling the inventor into the canal, who almost drowned in the process.
A long trek across the desert took its toll on the group, and served as a rough introduction to the Red Planet. Finally, the spies of a ruined city on the dead canal running from Thoth to Karkarham: their destination. It was here that Majestic had sent Professor Routledge on a somewhat-mysterious expedition. Soon after arriving, the group found that the expedition must have met a tragic end: several human and Martian corpses, seemingly all that was left of Routledge’s group after a High Martian attack. Of the professor, there was no sign.
The group found an abandoned tower from which they might try to spy the lair of the High Martians. Their patience paid off; after a while the group had a pretty good idea of where the occasional High Martian they saw was landing. A plan was hatched to circle around to the other side of the suspected lair, and enter their tower the next day.
Sneaking up the tower, a guard was finally alerted, but he was quickly dispatched after raising the alarm. The adventurers scrambled up several more flights of stairs and caught the remaining High Martians somewhat flat-footed. After a short battle (in which Battersby was sorely wounded), the High Martians surrendered. They agreed to take the group to the “mines” where the remaining humans were.
The sole Lone Martian guarding their slaves (Martians and humans alike) had to be negotiated with, but finally the heroes secured the release of Routledge, his graduate assistant, and his Martian “manservant.” In return, the group promised to leave, and after a day of rest, they did so. Instead of returning back the way they came, the group instead decided to travel in the relatively-fertile dead canal bed north to Thoth.