A battered Pegasus arrives at the Eventide system, a desolate little star system with a red dwarf at the center, a single rocky planet with a large moon, and the largest gas giant the crew has ever encountered. The ship is badly in need of supplies and materials, and hope they can recover enough from the planet to supply their diminished stores.
Soon after they discover the backwards colony of Eventide, the crew is visited, or maybe possessed, by pale gray aliens calling themselves the Kariad. The Kariad have interfered with several human colonists in their efforts to bring peace, equality, and social harmony to the human race. They are stymied about what to do about Eventide, where a ruling elite (The Royals) controls devices called 'Anything Boxes' that can produce anything the population wants or desires. Their control over the Anything Boxes has enabled them to rule the 13 Kingdoms of Eventide, while giving the regular people (The Sox) no voice, no say, and no opportunity for advancement.
Captain Keeler wants the Kariad to stop interfering with humanity, and eventually makes a wager with them; if he can fix the social problems of Eventide, the Kariad must stop interfering with humanity. The Kariad take the wager.
Now, all Keeler needs is a ship, a crew, and a plan.
· There are multiple references to the series Firefly and the movie Serenity throughout Book 10.
· Chapter Three references William Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice.
· Chapter Four references William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
· The character of Lady Kate Keats is modeled after English musician Kate Bush.
· Chapter Four: Goro’s “Mercenary in a fuzzy sweater” remark is an homage to Swords of Cerebus when Cerebus goes to Lord Julius’s costume party dressed as “an aardvark in a fuzzy sweater.”
· Chapter Five references William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
· Chapter Six references William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
· The play that Keeler watches is similar to the plot of the movie Twilight.
· Chapter Seven references William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
· “Wingus and Dingus” are parodies of the Shakespearean characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
· “Death is my bitch lover!” is a line from the movie Wedding Crashers.
· “220, 221… Whatever it takes,” is a line from the movie Mr. Mom.
· The name ‘Damark’ is a play off Hamlet which is set in Denmark, and Damark, a marketer of off-brand consumer goods (as noted by David Alkema).
· The name of Damark’s capital, Skoal, is a play off of the name Copenhagen which is the capital of Denmark. Both are brands of chewing tobacco.
· Other cities in Book 10 are named after Microsoft fonts including Palatino, Arial, and Helvetica.
· The pornographic play titles listed in Chapter Eight are all puns of Shakespearean plays: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Taming of The Shrew, All's Well That Ends Well, Comedy of Errors, A Winter’s Tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Antony and Cleopatraand Henry V.
· Chapter Nine: Keeler has a ship named the Armpit Avenger, the University of Sapphire at New Clevelands sports teams are called the Armpit Avengers, which is in turn yet another reference to Cerebus.
· Chapter Nine contains numerous textual references to Shakespeare’s The Tempest,including the name of the island (Miranda), its Regent (Prospero), the plot element of the Regent Prospero renouncing his throne as the Wizard Prospero renounced magic, and a mention that Keeler’s ship avoided a storm front on reaching the island.
· The name of the island Miranda ties together both the Shakespearean elements of Book 10 and the Serenity-related elements. Miranda was a character in Shakespeare’s The Tempestand a planet in Serenity.
· The name of Miranda’s capital city, Arial, references both a Microsoft font and a character inThe Tempest.
· Although Keeler sets out to sail for the island of Beaumont (another Firefly reference) many times, he never actually goes there.
· In Chapter Nine, the Star Trek: Wrath of Khan references begin kicking in. Keeler strands his rival captain on “Five Big Whales Island.” Captain Kirk stranded Khan on Ceti Alpha Five. Ceti means “Whales” in Latin.
· The reference to the Grim Reaper and Salmon Mousse in Chapter 10 is a shout-out to Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.
· In Chapter 10, Eddie once again references his fear of spiders; first mentioned in Book One.