The events leading up to Julie Mao's infection by the unknown biohazard on the Anubis and gruesome death in her hotel room on Eros are revealed in a flashback. Fred Johnson broadcasts evidence that the stealth ships were built on Earth. After Miller and the Rocinante crew flee the hotel, Julie's body is found and studied by Dresden, a scientist working for Julie's father Jules-Pierre Mao, who harvests her infected blood. Under the guise of a ship explosion and radiation leak, mercenaries loyal to Julie's father and Dresden place Eros into lockdown and seal the poverty-stricken citizens into radiation shelters after infecting them with Julie's blood. Most of the Rocinante crew head back to the ship, while Miller and Holden go to investigate the shelters. Discovering their true purpose as incubators for the infection, with everyone inside dead or dying, they also receive a lethal dose of radiation.
Two hundred years in the future, in a fully colonized Solar System, detective Josephus Miller, born in the asteroid belt, is given the assignment to find a missing young woman, Julie Mao. Joining his task is James Holden, formerly first officer of an ice freighter who is involved in an incident caused by the tense relationship between Earth, Mars and the Belt. Soon the two find out that the missing woman is connected to a vast conspiracy.