presumably this was once a tubestation, a link on the network of cars stringing the city together. now the gathering here swells with the lapses of the city's breathing, the heartbeats of terror when the system fails, the message is lost, and the air becomes dark with the peat-smelling breath of strain and fever of fear.

folding tables stretch the length of it and a cacophonous variety of light hangs from motley lamps suspended in the rusting wire of the steampipe ceiling. the glare of the light stretches miragous in a reflective edge coming hard visorlike into your eyes.

in the corner a man with wizened eyes watches his world swim creamily over a row of bottles.