OPA leader Fred Johnson plays ball with U.N. Deputy Undersecretary Chrisjen Aavsarala, sending her a secret message with the coordinates of a mysterious stealth ship. The ship is likely the one which shot down the Martian ship, the Donager, whose destruction Avarasala had blamed on Johnson.
Avarasala traces the stealth ship to Jules Mao, whose company owns the biotech firm, Protogen, which had a research station on Eros. Jules is the father of Julie Mao, the bewitching OPA operative who Detective Miller had tracked and found on Eros, gruesomely devoured by Protomolecule.
The U.N. freezes Protogen's assets, pending an investigation of the stealth ship and whether the company has OPA ties, but Jules Mao has a fellow anti-Martian, U.N. Undersecretary Sadavir Errinwright, in his pocket.
Miller and Johnson convince Rocinante Capt. Holden to lend the ship on a mission to destroy Eros, which includes evacuating passengers from the Mormon temple-ship, the Nauvoo, and using it as a battering ram to pushing the asteroid — and Protomolecule with it — into the sun.
Diogo, the young OPA warrior, bonds with Miller, his reluctant mentor, as they set detonators to Eros's surface. Holden discovers a ship called the Marasmus, flying near Eros and in a hail, its captain says he's leading a team of doctors to try and save any survivors on Eros. On his mission, Miller discovers the dead body of a Marasmus doctor and warns Holden.
Holden threatens to destroy the Marasmus if it attempts to land on Eros, fearing one of the crew could contract the deadly virus on Eros, then spread it. After Holden destroys the ship after it ignores his warnings, the Nauvoo misses Eros, leading everyone to think Protomolecule has taken control of Eros.