After fleeing a virus that claimed many lives on Eros, in the Asteroid Belt, the freshly irradiated crew of the Rocinante hunts for the truth about who or what may have caused the carnage, while still haunted by its inability to save others’ lives. As Earth and Mars sit perilously perched on the brink of war, Bobbie Draper, a Martian commando squad leader who dreams of a terra-formed Mars desperately wants to invade Earth.
At United Nations headquarters, manipulative Deputy Undersecretary Chrisjen Avasarala — who publicly and falsely blames the destruction of the Martian ship, the Donager on OPA leader Fred Johnson — narrowly escapes a bombing of an aircraft she was about to board.
Tension roils aboard the Rocinante: Miller, still lamenting Julie Mao’s ghastly demise on Eros, brawls with Amos after confronting him about shooting to death his friend on Eros, while escaping. Capt. Holden and Naomi Nagata, Amos’s off-again-on-again lover, have a secret sexual tryst on board. Still, the four have a chummy conversation at dinner, featuring pilot Alex’s homemade Martian lasagna — with artificial cheese and tomatoes, of course.