Nao,safely ensconced in Tram Zero, watched as the Badlands unfolded in front of her. She was sure she could be in Upland by nightfall; it was there, on the horizon, its low and unassuming buildings white and barn red in the daylight. Upland had no need for huge towers and indeed its tallest building was the Harbour Church of St Cyril the Dubious, built in 1903 to the designs of Per Olov Lindstrand to serve as an 'anti-cathedral' where proper discussion could take place, people could be fed if they had no food and sheltered if they had no home, without the overbearing weight of Religion. Cyril himself was represented by an ever-sucking pigfat figure at the far end of the nave, pulling all into himself except light. He represented the Void, as well he might. Instead of a Bishop the Church of Cyril the Dodgy had a Void Control Officer whose function it was to make sure nobody got too close to old Cyril himself.
The Void Control Officer at the moment was a lady of sixty summers called Anna Bergstrom. In her youth she had been described variously as 'a goth princess', 'queen of trash novels', and many other things. Nowadays she served the populace of Upland and her many potboiler books were not on sale in the bookshop.