The story revolves around Nikolai, apparently a part-cyborg; Galory, a young boy who apparently is part human/part Crest person, and Althea, who is entirely a Crest person. Seems the Earth and the Crest people were at war for 300 years so there's still a lot of bad feelings present. The ship Galory, Nikolai and others are on is ambushed and almost everyone killed by some kind of automated attack ships from a huge Crest ship that has been taken over by an automaton. Galory, Nikolai and Althea go to the ship to try and see if there are any survivors of an advanced party from Galory's ship that can be saved, and to see if they can destroy the Type 38 automaton in the ship's core.
Expecting the usual tedium that accompanies a summer in the Catskills with her family, 17-year-old Frances 'Baby' Houseman is surprised to find herself stepping into the shoes of a professional hoofer – and unexpectedly falling in love.
A dramatic history of Pu Yi, the last of the Emperors of China, from his lofty birth and brief reign in the Forbidden City, the object of worship by half a billion people; through his abdication, his decline and dissolute lifestyle; his exploitation by the invading Japanese, and finally to his obscure existence as just another peasant worker in the People's Republic.