In that year, he discreetly contacts Dyson Joint Command during the siege of the Solanae Dyson Sphere, hoping to enlist aid in discovering the true origin of the sphere rather than follow the propaganda fed to him by the Ministry of Elders. After the mission Unsaid Thanks, he defects and joins the player's crew as a science officer.
- “Unexpected Friend”: Nelen Exil opens communications with a member of the Dyson Joint Command hoping to achieve common scientific goals despite military interference, sharing his discovery that the Iconians were involved in the creation of the Solanae Dyson Sphere.
- “Unlikely Neighbors”: Continuing communications, Nelen brings up the absence of other occupants in the Sphere besides the Voth and the Dyson Joint Command Races and expresses his concern that whatever forced the Sphere to be evacuated might still be a factor.
- “Unsafe Practices”: After lamenting interference in scientific research by Ministry of Elders Inquisitors, Nelen informs his contact that the Sphere seems to have been the site of a large-scale accident involving tetryonic energy.
- “Unsavory Actions”: Blamed for failures in combining Voth and Sphere technology, Nelen is transferred to the Circle of Material Sciences where he works to prevent the Voth from activating the Sphere's systems and risking a detonation of the Omega Particles which the Sphere produces.
- “Unsaid Thanks”: After the discovery that the Sphere uses the Omega Particles as fuel to jump across space, Nelen executes a program of wide-scale sabotage of the Voth research into the Sphere and Omega Particles and flees. Hiding in the minefield on the border of the Allied Zone, Nelen is rescued by his contact and joins their crew.
- “A Step Between Stars” (Mentioned): While briefing the player, Subcommander Kaol mentions Nelen's defection and the information he brought with him regarding the Sphere's jump capability and use of Omega Particles.
- Nelen Exil's appearance differs significantly between the cutscene missions he appears in, and how he looks when he finally joins the player's crew as a bridge officer; he has a different style to his head shape and his skin changes color. Although there is no explanation for the differing head shape, the latter is most likely an effect of the Voth having skin pigmentation which alters according to moods.