In the near future, Lionel's sister Lilith disappears again, leaving him alone with his sick cat in the flat above Milk Street. Down below, CCTV cameras keep watch as the hustlers scheme and glassy-eyed girls disappear into the 'adult health ...
centre'. Waiting for Lilith to return, Lionel works, chews qat and slips deeper into an alternative reality, where his warrior alter-ego Ludi begins a heroic quest. The imaginary world he enters every day in CoreQuest is clearer to him than his own past, where a significant part of his childhood has been wiped clean. When Lilith reappears, as abrasive and beautiful as ever, Lionel's memory begins to return: the cruelty of his brothers, the religious fervour of his adoptive parents. At the same time he becomes a real life hero to a vulnerable Chinese immigrant, and the favours he has done his boss drag him into the orbit of people-trafficking gangsters, freedom fighters and the police. As Lionel is pursued across the real worlds and the virtual, can he save himself and the people he loves before the game is altered forever?