As Spear tracks the AI across a hostile starscape, he has company. Sverl, an alien prador, has been warped by Penny Royal and hungers to confront it. But will the AI's pursuers destroy each other or hunt it together? Sverl's prador enemies aren't far behind either. They plan to use his transition to prove human meddling, triggering a devastating new war.
Clues suggest Penny Royal's heading for the defective war factory that made it. So allies and enemies converge, heading for the biggest firestorm that sector of space has ever seen. But will Spear secure vengeance for his unquiet dead?