Avasarala is blindsided while on a visit to Mars. The Roci crew continue their protomolecule investigation while tensions between the RCE and Belters reach a tipping point. Drummer and Ashford track down a terrorist.
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.