Sinclair spins his story like it's your classic "black hat makes good" tale, but that's only vaguely true. There are many reasons to come in from the cold - his was one of necessity. Managing the Flood instead of swimming in it has its benefits, though. Fewer attacks on his sanity, for one. He's already at his desk when his phone starts vomiting alarms, but Sinclair can only sit and watch the monitors as someone reaches in and forcibly unbundles the local loop. Under the city, hundreds of kilometers of legacy copper scream in unison. Sinclair, at the system's heart, tastes blood.



The Sisters of St Rupertsberg

The Sisters of St Rupertsberg can be recognised during the opening band, if one looks carefully, by the key on a ribbon around each of their necks. They listen politely in groups of twos and threes, incognito among the hipsters, then sidle backstage to tune up. Turnout's low for the venue, but there's not much when you're splitting the door takings eight ways anyway. The Sisters don't care. They're spreading the gospel of good music, one bloody heathen at a time.

"This one's 'I'm So Fucking Goddamn Lonely'," says Sister Kate, leaning into the microphone. "One, two, one two three four!"