Unknown to the Alliance, renegade biofabs escaped to an alternate universe where under their brilliant Tactics Master they're breeding back to strength, readying a counter-strike against the people of both universes.
Catapulted into a twisted image of his world, Harrison must find the biofabs' nest and take it out before a new generation hatches. It won't be easy--the biofabs have found deadly allies. And in this version of Earth, Harrison's a rebel on the run from the Fourth Reich. (2010 revision of 1986 Tor Books edition. 56,000 words.)
The Battle for Terra Two is one of four novels that begins with a covert alien attempt to control Earth, ending with the battered forces of Galactic humanity battling impossible odds as an AI armada sweeps into our galaxy for its long-overdue reckoning with humanity. (AIs--Artificial Intelligences--cyborgs evolved over vast time from simpler machines to complex beings driven by the simple need to kill us all.)
All the books follow the crew of the Kronarin Fleet dreadnought Implacable and their Terran allies from the discovery of biofabs on Earth through ever-growing confrontations and diabolical alien machinations to the final battle. The plot line is akin to a nesting doll, each crisis spawning an even deadlier one. The blaster fire never stops--save for the occasional soothing cup of t'ata from Implacable's dodgy beveragers. (Implacable's a resurrected Imperial warship that sometimes chaffs at having been awakened and pressed into the service of such rude hands. It preferred its Imperial masters.)
To be bested along the way are space pirates, Terra Two's last proconsul, mindslavers, various machine intelligences, a vile alternate Earth, the undying hand of the dead Kronarin Empire, a ubiquitous insectoid-blonde and of course, biofabs. All stirred into a rich bouillabaisse of an adventure that takes the reader on a far flung quest into the fantastic, but where in the end the old verities of honesty, valor and fellowship trump all.
From The Battle for Terra Two:
"I have a theory about the Empire," said Bill as the decks flashed by. "More whimsy than theory. It never died. It's out there somewhere, manipulating us, the Kronarins, the Scotar, those killer machines--God only knows what else. All for some esoteric and rotten end. It's cold, malevolent, immortal and hopelessly mad. Evil."
This was worse, John thought, stumbling over a helmet. Something out of Goya, the young dead tormented faces staring sightlessly, throats ripped out, necks broken, holes you could put your fist through. And everywhere the stench of burnt flesh and clouds of flies come to feast.