The place: Portland, Oregon. The time: the not too distant future, in an era of global warming and urban sprawl. Mental Interface with the Web is commonplace, and virtual and physical reality are sometimes hard to distinguish.

Charles O’Leary is a detective for the Portland police. His assignment: to investigate the bombing of a Web server farm. The terrorist’s motives are not entirely clear: the bomb itself does limited damage, but the mental damage caused to workers interfacing with the Web is serious indeed. A message from the bomber raises an ominous question: What is a Bio-Server, and how do you know if you are one?