Mitchell Lane has been a patrol boat guard in the ocean platform city of Arcis for nine years. He has spent most of that time avoiding work, drinking on the job, and looking for scams to make extra money. When another crewman on his boat, his best friend, Edward Perrino is killed in an accident, the investigation that follows disrupts Lane's comfortable life and uncovers a secret that pulls him into a dangerous and paranoia-filled underworld of battling security forces, mercenaries, and terrorism.
As Lane desperately tries to hold onto some semblance of normality, and hide a double-life from his boat crew, he stumbles upon violent forces that are about to tear the floating island of Arcis apart.
The element Nautrium is predicted to be the most sought after commodity of the 20th century, it's also Lewis Crosswick's opportunity to move up in the world by using his experimental drilling engine to reach buried deposits of the element before his competition. But as the stress of dealing with mechanical breakdowns and unsustainably long hours starts to wear him down, a series of eerie events begin to make Crosswick wonder if he is cracking under the pressure, or if his superstitious minors are correct, and that by drilling into the ancient rock they risk unleashing dark, supernatural forces.