Beginning right after A New World, Roland has decided to leave the group instead of facing the death of his best friend. When he tries to sneak away, he is discovered by Niik who confronts him about his behavior towards her and other vampires. They part ways after Roland has apologized and entrusts the safety of Ryan's only child, Alyx, to Niik.
After many weeks of surviving on his own, Roland stumbles upon a recruitment campaign by the United Continental Government in the newly conquered Great Lakes Territory. Once he is pointed out by the major in charge as a 'good stout man worthy of his country', and after some bantering about his being English and not American, Roland signs up for enlistment in the UCG.