Balmus has long since carried a torch for Petra, another Linker in Cyber, but he doesn’t know her, not really. Outside of the Dream Box she is just another one of his fantasies. But Brea Morgen, who shares Reese’s labor shift, is as real as they come–a living, breathing person who desires him for who he truly is, not merely what he pretends to be.
Reese’s masquerade ends when a hostile life form evolves inside the Dream Box. Now his only hope of being Balmus again is to join a team of gamers and hackers commissioned to return to Cyber and investigate the new threat:
-Renton Hayes, a legendary hacker in government captivity on the Homeworld.
-Isaac Zephyr, a dead-eye cyborg living through first person shooters after his discharge from the Corps.
-Miyoko Hirigashi, a member of a radical underworld faction and coder extraordinaire.
-Janus Almani, an old mystic whose ascetic ability to link minds defies scientific explanation.
-Brea Morgen, who–despite being a red collar–might hold the key to restoring the system.
Reese is given the chance of a lifetime in leading them, but soon he must decide how much of himself he’s willing to lose. The Dream Box has created a new way of life, and the looming war to control it must be waged on two fronts–the physical and the virtual.
Cyber is changing. Reality and the virtual world are blurring as the Dream Box evolves. The line between humanity and artificial intelligence is growing ever thinner.
The Ravers, led by Reese, are holed up on Phobos. They rely heavily upon their advanced A.I. for their survival. Their position is precarious, but stable, for now. But with a mole within their ranks and their A.I. developing a consciousness and feelings while still being used as a mere tool by most of the group, their bunker and their lives are put in grave danger.
But Reese has other things on his mind, including the fate of his love, Brea, trapped in a comatose state in order to prevent her and their unborn child from succumbing to a deadly illness. Their only hope of stopping the illness from claiming her life, as well as countless others, is to discover the source and find a cure.
The key lies in an ancient and sacred gift passed down and entrusted to Reese.
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