The Devoted arrived about 6 years back. They arrived in bulk – a huge Galatean army, hiding in deep space for millions of years. They came for their god, the Devourer, still trapped in a Bright One prison somewhere. They offered a deal: surrender the Bright Ones and live. The UW refused. The Devoted invaded with an army larger than the combined forces of all space-faring civilizations. A few months later, the Galateans were kicked out of the United Worlds, out of fear that their government had been infiltrated by The Devoted.
Now, the galaxy is at war.
A new alliance, The United Front, has formed to fight The Devoted armies. The alliance consists of the UW races (Humans, Ardin, Jaxean), the Kitorin, the Trox and the Kaldreth. The Altari and Corsa are neutral.
Ronan Firstlight served time, was eventually released, and is now living the humble life of a civilian strictly forbidden from any governmental apparatus ever again.
Danube 5 has undergone a series of regime changes, some more popular than others. With every change, Lassie Stinklater has remained, by popular demand, the military leader of Danube 5. It has become clear that Lassie is the real power on Danube 5 and she doesn’t seem happy about it.
Black Fin died in prison, after writing a bestselling memoir. A cult has risen, now that he is dead, devoted to his writings and his teachings. They call themselves the Black Fins and they are devoted to protecting the weak at all costs. They are always looking for what they call "The Apostles," Target and Stud, but no one really knows where those two Corsa snuck off to after the coup.
Kira stood trial for her actions and was found guilty. But, in a deal to get the Kitorin to fight against the Devoted Ones, the UW released Kira into Kitorin Custody. The Kitorin declared Kira a national hero and erected monuments in her honor, even naming their capital “Burningheart.” Alas, her warm welcome was not enough to calm her troubled heart, and after a month of freedom Kira committed suicide. In her final note, she wrote that she loved the Kitorin people, but could not live with what she had paid to free them.
The Kitorin were in the process of abolishing Corsa slavery when the Devoted attacked, putting the movement on hold until the fight was over. As a result, the Corsa refused to join the United Front. Luckily, the Kitorin are very effective warriors.
As for our heroes…
Kanda Stonesoul finally retired from the diplomatic corps. She now teaches law on Adren. Life as a courier is exciting for any normal person, but for an Ardin who has had her hand in several galaxy changing events, it's mundane. She hops in and out of war zones picking up and delivering sensitive information. Her weapons gather dust, but she hears things - always brushing elbows with admirals and diplomats.
Captain Sledge has a pirate ship. They're not great pirates. His crew are the last vestiges of the burning legion: Kitorin freedom fighters he's weaned off their sociopathy-inducing crystals to a pure sunlight diet, making them emotionally conflicted and confused most of the time but they're generally good people - or, good-ish. While Sledge's pirating only really afforded him enough money to keep the lights on, he's managed to occasionally become a somewhat successful guerilla fighter, running dirty smash-and-grab jobs against The Devoted. He's still got contacts on New Bigsby, in the Kitorin government (the Kitorin high council labeled his ship an "enemy of the state", which is sort of a Kitorin badge of honor), plus any of Mickey's contacts, and he uses them to find potential Devoted targets to through his ship at.
Bob Dylan specializes in alien communication patterns. She knew the right people and they gave her a one way ticket to The Bright Ones' new world, a secret planet named Graceful End, where she works with the local scientists to study their culture. In her studies, she learned of Frithrik Mollipog, the Kaldreth who died on Graceful End a few years back. Frithrik taught them all an important lesson: Don't put your mind cloud in her body, it will give you a disease. She inadvertently killed a Bright One, which led them to a larger discovery: the Kaldreth were responsible for killing the Bright Ones, albeit by accident.
So that's the gist of things. We'll see what wacky series of events will get the gang back together again…