Gordonís Lamp is returning from 61 Cygni, their data corrupted by a crewmanís hack, their mission to seed the planet with mortal humans thwarted by the biodisaster the planet had become, their chance of Angel colonization thwarted by the lack of exploitable resources. While en route, war breaks out between mortals, lead by Brasil, and simulates, lead by Heavenly Talstan. The war was triggered by data they know to be false, data fabricated by their own crewman, Alan Larkin.
In spite of that, the war is going badly, mortals have been bombed to barbarism, and now all simulated humans in the Afterlife are being targeted by comets from deep space, comets that can only be a Brazilian doomsday device in the outer reaches of the solar system. Even though Gordonís Lamp is an unarmed exploration and colony ship, they are pressed into service to fight that doomsday device, even if it is guarded by Chinese or Brazilian warships.
Then one of their crewmen makes scientific discoveries in the dark matter beyond the solar system that may be the key to the weapon system that is destroying their civilization. As the enemy warship closes in, an enemy agent enters the ship. While attempting to track that agent, their Systemís Administrator, Ava Bancour, is lost, and the only one aboard with the skills to get her back may be the hacker who started this war.
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