The team, designated Expeditionary Group Tango X-Ray 6, is asked to investigate a derelict spacecraft in the Ruin system. They do, and find that it is a Reich V craft that has been destroyed by something internal and doused with leaking radiation. They narrowly escape getting entailed with a Reich V military craft that has also come to investigate the wreck.
A Political Prisoner
They are then sent to Tesla to extract a prisoner known as Kala Rados who has been charged with fomenting revolution or something similar. She is a member of a terrorist group known as the Humming Fish Collective, and on their way to deliver her to a black site in the ruin system she tries to convince them of the rightness of the Collective's aims, and almost succeeds.
They then are ordered to Roanoke to find out what a Reich V military mission is doing there; Sara comes along. They follow the Reich soldiers through the wasteland and watch as they are wiped out by huge creatures of mixed organic and technological origin. Then they go to the site that Sara thinks the soldiers were headed for, and there they encounter some sort of stealthed wall-crawling creatures and they have a fight, where Sara is injured. They are "rescued" by one of the "glittering ones," who lives under the surface in a world created for him by some sort of simulation or nanotech. He repairs the damage done to Sara with technology that not only heals her but somehow enhances her. They leave and go to Skullport, where they are "judged" by Diogenes and others. The judgment is that they can go if they submit to inspection for forbidden technology; and they are asked to both take Tennan along and to act as a liaison between LG and Roanoke. Roanoke creates a blockade at the slip knots to prevent unauthorized entry, and the ship the Reich V military ship is destroyed.
Back in Mwenye, after extensive debriefing and some R&R, Sara is playing a dangerous game trying to balance multiple factions inside LG: some who see unrestrained BioTech use as a danger and some who see it as an opportunity. She seems determined to work with the faction that wants to restrain or control the technology. The team is attacked by some faction working in collusion with internal security, and Sara sends them out to get them away from the problems.
A Frozen World
They go to Veranda in search of Amana Sen, who disappeared there while doing something maybe slightly shady. She's the daughter of the VP of Operations of Starburst Shipping. There they work undercover for some time. Two "goes native" and takes a job maintaining the mysterious T4 station which is the "habitable" world's only high port. Cal joins them as their new team member. They meet the Haraal for the first time, and find that the Haraal are holding Amana, maybe for her own protection. They agree to perform a favor for the Haraal in exchange for them releasing Amana to the team's custody, but on the way to perform the favor (stop a terrorist attack by the Humming Fish Collective by capturing or killing the terrorists) they find they are too late, and the mining station is badly damaged with much loss of life. They help out, and find the terrorists as they board an evacuation ship weeks later. They intercept the evacuation ship and board it with the permission of the captain, and they kill both of the terrorists when they resist arrest.
Expeditionary Group Tango X-Ray 6 is then asked to work undercover as "independent contractors" and take work with a Reich V intelligence unit who is trying to steak some extreme biotech from the IBI facility on the Hive’s moon known as Anaph. They successfully take the job and are successfully working it, working undercover in temporary roles inside the IBI facility. Cal discovers that the exo-suits that they are supposed to "steal" technical information on (actually they’re "stealing" honeypot information) are actually symbionts which "attach" to a human. Their plans are thrown into disarray when a fuel tanker hijacked by the Humming Fish Collective sets a course to crash into the facility. Using the suits and their own wits, the team narrowly escapes. Although much of the facility is intact, it is badly damaged.
They Speak for the Truffula
The team decides to investigate the Humming Fish Collective more, and so are on their way to Lorax through New Greenland and Crystal 9.