Loki was not as badly hurt as most human planets during the Great Collapse when the Confederacy fell apart. It managed to maintain and rediscover most of the technological and scientific knowledge of the Confederacy and established the Loki Salvage Service to continue to scavenge ruins on other planets. However, c.a. AD 3240 a crises developed; the Service lost four scout ships beyond human explored space on the other side of the Orion Nebula. Erasmus Chang was ordered to discover what had happened to them.