After a tumultuous but nonetheless brilliant ascent to the FDS Academy for elite pilots, Roland Zuccali is finally grounded after testing positive for a Mush infection. Manipulated by his superiors despite being proven innocent, Roland loses all confidence in the FDS and finally deserts during the Dirty War against the rebels. He then becomes the pilot of the Daedalus.
Roland joins the FDS to realise his life's dream of becoming a space jet pilot. He quickly established himself as a talented pupil in the academy by accumulating 1600h flying hours in a single year. Unfortunately, half of his hours were unauthorized which resulted in regular suspensions. However, his reputation as a prankster made him extremely popular with his squadron.
During a parachute jump on the surface of Mars, Roland is suspended for taking an SNC journalist on the jump with him... without a parachute. After spending 6 months in jail, he is finally freed in order to defend the Federation against the Sol invasion...
During a forest survival mission, Roland played a practical joke on his squadron. He pretended to have caught the Mush infection from a toadstool. His superiors took the threat seriously and transferred him immediately to a quarantine cell.
Roland's infection is confirmed by the Encelade science department. Despite his protests, he is locked in an FDS laboratory then used as a guinea pig for the IOM cannon, a revolutionary procedure which is capable of destroying a layer of mycelium without damaging human organs.
After only 2 exposures to the anti-Mush rays, Roland is declared clear of all infection. He is immediately sent to Ross154 to join the Dirty War. After 3 successive refusals to carry out orders to bomb inhabited colonies, Roland is branded a deserter and put back in quarantine. Once there he is again treated as a carrier of the infection, but manages to escape.
When Roland tries to get in touch with the rebellion to share his information, Roland is put in touch with the journalist Finola Keegan who he pushed into the sky on Mars. She is then hunted by the Federation for treason and finds refuge in a base on Jupiter where she starts planning the construction of an Ark to flee Sol.
Roland is accepted into the Daedalus team which is seriously lacking pilots for patrols. The explorer Jiang-Hua teaches him the intricacies of engine management and plans his training on the orbital platform.
Following an unprecedented solar explosion, a melting wing on his craft forces Roland to negociate an emergency landing on Mercury. With Jiang Hua, his co-pilot, they are forced to wait 36h in extreme temperatures until help arrives.