The Nostalgia for Infinity was originally an Ultra-owned lighthugger. Sometime centuries before the outbreak of the Melding Plague, the crew of the Nostalgia for Infinity managed to locate -- and circumvent the security measures of -- a Conjoiner asteroid in a nameless brown dwarf system. The automated installation contained the intentionally forgotten cache weapons, which were appropriated by the Ultras.
Over the intervening centuries thirty-one of the weapons' control systems were accessed, 80% of their activation codes acquired, seventeen of them were tested, and two of those in battle conditions.
In 2460 the vessel was secretly infected with the digital entity known as Sun Stealer, which was unknowingly brought aboard by Dan Sylveste after he was infected in the area surrounding Lascaille's Shroud. Eventually it became trapped in the lighthugger's gunnery systems -- as the weapons network as designed for security reasons to allow digital information in, but never allow it out.
In 2543 Boris Nagorny, the vessel's gunnery officer, was killed by Ilia Volyova in self-defense. After being hooked into the gunnery station via neural implants, the man had become unknowingly infected by Sun Stealer in its attempt to escape its prison, and was slowly driven insane.
In 2546 Nostalgia for Infinity arrived in the Yellowstone system, in search of Dan Sylveste and a cure for their diseased captain. After docking at Carousel New Brazilia and discovering that he had left on a research mission to Resurgam decades ago, plans were immediately made to follow him. However, before departure, the crew "recruited" Ana Khouri, as a replacement gunnery officer for the deceased Boris Nagorny.
After an incident with one of the cache weapons which led to its destruction in interstellar space, the vessel arrived in the Delta Pavonis system in 2566. Waiting silently in orbit, the crew prepared to extract Sylveste by running combat simulations; unfortunately, in one such drill Kjarval -- whose combat suit was under the control of either Sun Stealer or the Mademoiselle -- tried to kill Khouri, and was killed by Volyova. During the actually extraction, Sudjic, Nagorny's former lover, attempted to kill Ilia in revenge for driving him insane with her "experiments"; she failed, and was killed by Ana.
By 2567 Sun Stealer had escaped into the rest of the ship's systems and killed both Sajaki and Hegazi, until Ilia released the captain's diseased form and he infected -- and thus controlled -- the lighthugger, finally killing Sun Stealer.
In 2633, the vessel single-handedly evacuated 160,000 of the 200,000 citizens of Resurgam, despite being interrupted by Nevil Clavain and the Zodiacal Light -- who were attempting to recover the stolen cache weapons. After the brief conflict command of the vessel was voluntarily passed from Ilia Volyova to Clavain, with the Conjoiner Remontiore taking command of the damaged Zodiacal Light.
Over twenty years later, in 2675, the Infinity left that world with only a fraction of its original population, fleeing a battle between Inhibitors machines, the Zodiacal Light, and Skade's faction. It traveled back to Yellowstone and arrived in 2698, only to find the Epsilon Eridani system in the process of being destroyed by more Inhibitors. Changing course yet again, it fled to the 107 Piscium system, chasing Aura's hints about Hela and shadows.
The vessel arrived in 2717, but (having deployed Aura as a long-term sleeper agent) waited until 2727 to make their presence known. After fighting off an attempted takeover by Quaiche's followers, the Infinity was eventually forced to land on Hela, where it was invaded once again. It was presumed that Captain Brannigan destroyed the vessel rather than let it fall into the hands of Quaiche's forces.
- Captain John Brannigan (Infected by Melding Plague, kept frozen at only a few microkelvin above absolute zero)
- The Triumvirate
- Triumvir Yuuji Sajaki
- Triumvir Abdul Hegazi
- Triumvir Ilia Volyova
- Gunnery Officer
- Boris Nagorny (until 2543, when he was killed by Volyova)
- Ana Khouri (2546–2566)
- Nostalgia for Infinity features heavily in the Revelation Space story arc.
- Melancholia of Departure was a non-atmospheric shuttle used by Volyova to transport Khouri from Yellowstone, presumably owned by -- and kept aboard -- Nostalgia for Infinity.
- Storm Bird, a freighter owned and operated by Antoinette Bax and originally attached to Zodiacal Light, was instrumental in evacuating Resurgam