Physician Amy Nortel recreates Jack Commer’s murdered son Jonathan James as a robot of the Wounded, a race that destroys stars for kicks. Jack and his wife Amav arrest the Wounded doctor, but she kidnaps the Commers’ robot dog and escapes in lovestruck pursuit of Jonathan James. Jack readies the untested Typhoon VII to chase both son and doctor, but finds himself saddled with cheeky, flirtatious robot Laurie Lachrer 283, now certified as superior to the human engineer she’s modeled on. On a toxic waterworld in the Large Magellanic Cloud, 163,000 light-years away, Jonathan James rises to captain Balloon Ship Armageddon, ending millennia of combat between floating ships manned by deluded robot sailors. Yet he’s terrified by the Holy Chamber in his cargo hold. Only deactivated robot dog Edward understands its ancient, inexplicable star map warning of an abrupt termination of the universe.