-Chapter 01: The Secret Sect-

Edison Carter made his way carefully through the rim of the town that made up the no man's land between the city and its fringes. He was, as usual, searching for something that would make a good story.

So far he had done shows on Security Systems (that had nearly cost him and Bryce Lynch their lives), the Vu-Age church, Dream-Vu (he still missed Paddy Ashton), and the recent telelection in which Simon Peller had managed to get back into the public's good graces. This last had followed a temporary hiatus in his governorship when Edison's scandalous Harriet Garth report had caused both Network 23 and its rival Network 66 to lose the previous election.

But what would catch the public's eye? They were so used to the action-packed excitement of Edison's recent reports that he doubted very seriously that he would get away with a simple report on how well the zoo was getting on with the new animals unless a cougar escaped its cage and started mauling people.

As he walked into the Ouzo Bar just inside the Fringes, Edison saw two people in white cloaks wander by, chatting softly to each other. He couldn't hear most of what they were saying. Two words did meet his ears, however, and he turned a curious head to ask what they were talking about. But by then, the two were gone and all that remained were the two words that still rang in Edison's ears:

"The virgin."

Edison looked into his vidicam. "Theora. Did you catch where that pair just went?"

"Two doors down, Edison," Theora replied. "On the right."

Edison followed Theora's directions and found himself in a small room that was lit by one candle. Around it sat seven cloaked figures. Edison couldn't tell by looking at them whether they were male or female. The cloaks were unrevealing.

One of them spoke softly. She seemed to be the leader of the group.

"Holy virgin, holiest of all the cyberpunks," she prayed, "whom we shall not fail. We worship thee."

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