Other boys (Zooks) rescue Nathaniel from some girls. He is very relieved and ends up joining the crew of the starship Lasercake (the name printed with “cake” in big letters and “laser” in small letters to trick people into thinking they aren’t dangerous) under Captain Fig, leaving his own spaceship behind with the girls.
Zooks are tall, thin aliens with urchin-like heads. Each spine is an antenna tuned to a different form of radiation. Their eyes and noses are in their chests, and long, bird-like necks and beaks sprout from their bellies. They have three legs and are covered in fur. Lasercake is shaped somewhat like a peanut with one end much bigger than the other. On the big end are three antigravity pulse pads oriented at ninety degrees to each other. Scattered over the rest of the ship are circular windows. Each can be used as an airlock or a laser port.