While preparing the corpse of Dylan's former first officer and friend, Gaheris Rhade, for transport to the remainder of his clan, the Andromeda experiences something strange. A live Rhade appears before Beka and Trance to destroy the tesseract machine. Trance warns him against it and sparks a flashback to this Gaheris's past, in which he killed Dylan at the onset of the Nietzschean rebellion, but was trapped in time like Dylan. In this alternate timeline, Rhade takes command of the Andromeda and attempts, with the aid of the crew of the Maru and a hologram of Dylan, ...
While on their way in the Maru to the launching of the first new Commonwealth starship in over three hundred years, Dylan, Beka, and Tyr rush ahead to warn the new battleship, the Crimson Sunrise, of an incoming Nietzschean battle group. They suspect that there is an agent on board the Sunrise, and their suspicions are confirmed when the engines go critical and the Sunrise is destroyed. Many on board the Sunrise survived in escape pods, but they discover the pods are leaking air. As they rescue the survivors, they also investigate the sabotage and realize that the ...
Beka is called as a character witness for a friend on a planet where lying and deception are punishable crimes. Dylan is away at a strategic defense summit. Beka manages to get into a fight with the authorities and demands to see her "friend". She and Tyr break him out of prison and hide him on board the Andromeda. He was under arrest for crimes against the defense conglomerate Techno-Core, but the crew of the Andromeda, especially Beka, believe him to be innocent.
A newly colonized planet of the Commonwealth comes under attack by Pyrian "pyroformers", but when Dylan destroys the machines, the Pyrian fleet arrives to defend its property. Dylan hopes to talk them out of their goals, but they are not deterred. Dylan is forced into a battle he did not want, one where he is outmatched.
While in command of the Andromeda during the night shift, Harper decides to initiate a little race with a friendly Nietzschean vessel to the nearest slip-point. When he tries a trick he calls "Harper's Afterburner" to beat his rival to the slip-point and into slipstream he causes a malfunction in the engine that could cause the destruction of the Andromeda. The Andromeda receives a communication from a system thousands of light-years away, but the signal appears to be only a few days old. Dylan hears voices telling him to pursue the signal to its source on a planet of...
The Andromeda gets caught in the middle of a battle between two Nietzschean prides, one of which is the Drago-Kazov. They manage to capture a hostile fighter from the unknown pride. He reveals that the Drago-Kazov believe that his pride has in its possession a legendary Nietzschean slip-scout, the Midnight's Voice, claimed to have mapped billions of transit points in the slipstream, as well as the slipstream itself. Dylan looks into the near-mythic tale of the Midnight's Voice while Tyr interrogates their Nietzschean captive.
After exiting a rather turbulent part of slipstream, the Andromeda finds itself in the middle of the Prolon system, an area full of radiation and dangerous materials, including corrosive waste. The Andromeda saves a hibernation capsule from destruction, but sustains heavy damage at the hands of its pursuers, who demand that Dylan return the inhabitant, their princess, to their custody.
Tyr leaves the Andromeda while it is in dry-dock for repairs to seek out other survivors of his pride. Dylan and the rest of the crew remain to see off the newest Commonwealth battleship, the Resolution of Hector. The AI to be installed in the Hector was derived from Andromeda and the former AI of the Wrath of Achilles, who was destroyed in a prior mission. Matters become complicated when Romy leads a strike force to take control of the Resolution of Hector.
Tyr makes his move. He has convinced the Nietcheans he is the genetic reincarnation of Drago Museveni, the progenitor of his race. The Neitcheans break away from the Commonwealth. And he tries to force Dylan into a decision to save his crew by killing of the Drago Katzoff pride, or sacrifice the Andromeda and save the pride.
The governing body of the Commonwealth has voted "no-confidence" in triumvir Tri-Jema, she sends Dylan to get the Andromeda refitted and visit an augur, who is told to be infallible. This augur, dubbed Citizen Eight, aims to take Tri-Jema's place as triumvir and, according to the triumvir, remove Dylan from command of the Andromeda. The robots sent to the Andromeda to start pre-upgrade repairs turn against the crew, forcing Dylan and Harper to shut them down. Dylan must deal with Citizen Eight before he can bring down the Commonwealth from within.
Dylan is sent on a mission by a triumvir, but is not well informed of the danger he faces. After a haphazard reentry from slipstream, the Andromeda is captured by a gravity field projected from the moon that is the target of their mission. Dylan discovers that the moon is the base of Kroton, a half-human, half-android genius that created the Magog world-ship. Dylan attempts to take out Kroton along with the new weapon he has developed.
The Andromeda investigates the site of a reported Nietzschean attack on a Commonwealth battleship, but find no debris and no sign that any conflict occurred there, much less the reported destruction of a High Guard vessel. Dylan is invited by the Nietzschean rulers of the planet to visit and accepts, but in his descent a solar storm hits the planet, causing his escorts to fall behind. Dylan must deal with the Nietzscheans in order to uncover the truth of what happened in orbit.
Andromeda comes between two Nietzschean siblings. One has the File D, a weapon that can eliminate higher brain functions. The other has her nephew hostage, she wants File D. The crew doesn't want either of them to have File D.
The collectors tell Tyr why they need the map for the Route of Ages. It's a map to the Abyss, and hopefully a way to contain it. Tyr has Beka and the crew has the map. Now it's a race to the Route of Ages. Tyr makes a deal with the Abyss, and a final confrontation will ensue.
After taking a wrong turn in slipstream, the Andromeda receives a distress call from a Commonwealth prison, experiencing a riot the likes of which they have not seen before. Dylan and his crew quickly put down the rebellion, but Dylan keeps having flashbacks to the last time he was on this planet. Rommie discovers that a now-missing prisoner was not recorded in the logs, implying that she was a mole. Harper is shown the source of the planet's power and is told to bypass the ancient security system guarding it, so that the warden can keep it safe elsewhere. Meanwhile, ...