Near-future interstellar war yarn with cyberpunk overtones, and a definite improvement over The Infinity Link (1984). Program designer Sage and artist Ramo are drawn, via ""rap field,"" into the ""gnosys"" (a cyberspace created by the ""core,"" an Artificial Intelligence), only to learn that the core has contacted some aliens light-years away and, thanks to its rigid military programming, is already at war with them. The core needs Sage and Ramo to help reprogram itself to meet the threat more peacefully (the core's builders, the ""Company,"" and the government don't dare give the core its independence). Sage and Ramo oblige, only to be hunted down by the vengeful Company for their pains. Meanwhile, the reprogrammed core struggles to communicate with the four-armed alien Ell, whose leaders have a decidedly mystical bent (they have their own mentally-generated equivalent of the rap field, and are searching for some long-lost ancestors) before they invade and conquer Earth. Solid storytelling, then, after some initial silliness, and plenty of narrative drive--especially where the aliens are concerned--despite the thin, implausible characters and a general air of ho-hum familiarity.