It was initially written as a (privately shared) web serial, running from the 26th of September 2015 until the 25th of March 2017.
Warning: Unmarked spoilers ahead.
Curious and aggravated by Evenatra's broadcast messages from Nekenalos, Valcen visits the planet, but finds himself ill prepared to really do anything about the situation. After his avatar is caught and he nearly encounters Terenyira, he opts to head to Earth to ask for Jeneth's help.
In leaving Nekenalos, however, he leaves his avatar behind in a remarkably lucid state - Ne͡ivat'va. Terenyira takes advantage of the situation, manipulating Ne͡ivat'va into cooperating by promising to give Tabraan to the kavkema in exchange. Terenyira learns about Thread and begins to experiment with new weapons in Valcen's absence: a planetary dark matter net, surveillance devices, and orbital snares.
As Valcen and Jeneth return (well after Ne͡ivat'va's natural death), their first interaction is with the orbital snares, which would have easily taken out Valcen in Jeneth's absence. Jeneth frees Valcen and patches ver back together. They begin to look for Evenatra, hoping to gain insights about the weapon that Valcen hadn't acquired on his last visit.
After coming across the other new dangers, they begin to dimly understand why the world has abruptly become more dangerous - that it must relate to Valcen's last visit. It takes until Jeneth finds and speaks to Evenatra for them to realise that Valcen's avatar had survived his leaving.
At this point, Valcen reveals to Jeneth that he had hoped to survive an encounter with Terenyira by allowing his avatar to live autonomously with his most important memories, but never assumed his first attempt was viable. With much effort, he convinces Jeneth it's worth investing time into. Reluctantly, Jeneth mates his kavkem avatar with a similarly reluctant Sefusan kavkem, Sanathi. The resulting clutch results in two viable specimen that eventually become Gazhil and Valcen's avatar.
It's Jeneth that Terenyira eventually captures, however. Panicking, Valcen tries to rescue him, but only manages an unpleasant exchange. As Jeneth flees, only the project allows Valcen to survive by some measure, but at cost of all access to Thread.
As he awakens, he realises that Jeneth is likely heading toward to Mekiva. He insists Terenyira help him prevent the cosmic catastrophe by moving the planet under his guidance - something she agrees to despite reservations. Once the first signs of stellar tampering make themselves apparent, it turns out to have been the right decision. They flick the planet around the Anchor line leading back to Sol, trading the major catastrophe for a broad selection of minor ones.
Once the chaos of moving the planet dies down, Valcen realises he has a new problem: His own mortality, that he's invading Jeneth's stellar territory, and the fine detail that Evenatra is still in danger. Not yet endowed with a realistic option to destroy Terenyira, he combines his desperate wish to live with his equally desperate wish to get Evenatra off-planet and allies himself with the Nayabaru.
|Prologue||1927||Ne͡ivat'va wakes into confusion, captive to the Nayabaru, and meets Terenyira. She imparts the information that it was Valcen that Terenyira narrowly missed, and that Valcen came to destroy Terenyira and help Evenatra.|
|Satellites||2008||Having arrived on Earth thirty years prior, Valcen seeks out Jeneth and attempts to rope ver into joining him on a quest to Nekenalos to rescue Evenatra, ideally by doing something about the weapon. Jeneth explains his disdain toward that planet, Evenatra and Ysikary, blaming them for the failures of Nekenalos and showing no signs of sadness about Ysikary's passing, but agrees to consider it in exchange for Valcen's subservience for a thousand Earth years. Before leaving Earth together, Valcen shares his knowledge about the planet's geography and political situation, and the two begin to lose some of the resentment toward each other, very loosely bonding over their plans.|