Sean One, an orbiting terrorist born and raised in space, completes the construction of a deadly weapon capable of destroying Metropia.
The Phantom investigates a purported shipment of radioactive materials aboard a Maximum, Inc. cargo carrier. He makes a narrow escape before it inexplicably explodes. When no radioactive material is recovered from its remains, the Phantom draws an astonishing conclusion: the radioactive materials had been previously unloaded from the ship. Rebecca Madison learns of the disaster, and suspects that the materials intended for a Maximum, Inc. mega-weapon have been diverted by Sean One, an orbiting "Stringer" (born and raised in space, people so-named for their bodies distended by the zero gravity.) Sean One and the other orbital peoples want to declare their independence from Earth, and to build space colonies which they believe are the only hope for humanity's future.
Sean One is constructing a powerful death ray on the orbiting Damocles Platform, capable of destroying the city-states of Earth. Gorda, a colossally powerful trader based in Australia, is helping Sean One realize his plan by hijacking Maximum, Inc.'s transport vessels. When the Phantom is found aboard a second transport ship, Graft nearly kills him. Rebecca believes the Phantom is working against her, and doesn't realize that Sean One is their common enemy. Although the second vessel is destroyed, Sean One succeeds in sacking its goods. Gorda has now helped Sean One achieve his ultimate dream: to create a weapon powerful enough to ruin Maximum, Inc., and to put Earth at his mercy.
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