Tangle In The Dark
by Lee Willard
Gordon’s Lamp is returning from 61 Cygni, their data corrupted by a crewman’s 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 Gordon’s 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.