The force is flying back from their Alaska mission when they get a distress call on the radio. Blade decides to split off and let the other Hurricane with their serious wounded comrades continue on to Los Angeles. Blade lands in southeastern British Columbia and finds a burning trade post. The owner his wife and a friend have been skinned alive and left dead. They are too late to save them but find out from a mysterious old Indian shaman that the pirates have gone on to a settlement called Harrison Hot Springs.
Now Blade debates whether to help or just leave. Canada is not part of the Freedom Federation and this is not an official mission. His teammates are anxious to return to California and check on their wounded friends. Especially Grizzly who is worried about Athena. Well Blade being Blade can’t let innocent people be killed or raped so decides to stop the pirates.
The pirates are lead by Red Beard who indeed does have a bushy red beard. His first mate Fiddler Jack who if he plays the fiddle is never demonstrated in the book although it does sound very piraty. There are also twin mutant brothers called Bug Eyes and Elephant Ears. Named after their obvious physical characteristics. The pirates have come up river to steal the Bowie a former coast guard cutter now used by a family on Lake Harrison.
The team succeeds in destroying the pirates but Sgt. Havoc makes the ultimate sacrifice. When they get back two more team members Thunder and Athena have also succumbed to their wounds. Blade decides to disband the force and the surviving members return home. A despondent Grizzly goes into the Outlands away from civilization.
Well this is a sad ending for a story. Three popular members are killed off. The Force is disbanded. So what happens now? Blade wants to take a long vacation with his wife and son but you know that it will never turn out as planned. An interesting tidbit of info is that mutants have their own prejudices against each other. The twin pirates look down on Grizzly for being so animal like while they just have minor physical deformities.
So this is obviously not the end for Blade and the Force. Which we will explore in the next book.