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Settling into her new political career, now UN space commissioner, Sally Buds finds herself presiding over the aftermath of Earth's first colonial war. Baltan City, Earth's greatest achievement, tries to declare independence, spawning a violent and polarizing conflict. In the midst of this new cold war, an Earth ship from the future enters the system and appears to be approaching Baltan. Sally soon discovers that the ill-fated mission ties into her own timeline. The ship, Ultrablitz, launches 20 years after the day Sally sets foot on Baltan and involves the testing of an engine capable of creating its own space fold, with disastrous results. The crew of the Alliance ship Ultrablitz is alive, technically, but they've been in transit for 1300 years in an attempt to stop their own mission. And it becomes clear that there is more at stake than one ship, and it falls upon Sally to decide the fate of countless people across the centuries.