Thursday, December 18, 2008


They left the brisk secretarial facade of the outer office and moved into a netherworld of dark passages, dripping walls, and mossy cells.

They stepped over cables held to the floor with gaffer tape, and moved past gnomish figures hunched before consoles, their faces glowing like radioactive craters.

Two technicians were dumping spiders into a cobweb machine, while a dwarf on a wheeled ladder crammed items onto shelves already overflowing with oddities: sweat bottles and fog juice, jugs of rubber ears, boxes of sneezing powder, motorized rats.

A parade of signs offered unhelpful comments: Telecine, Continuity, Vegetation, Laughter.

Finally the passage they were following opened into into an enormous cavern. Above them the ceiling was hidden by a network of steel catwalks and racks of blazing lights.

In the distance a chip of blue sky was suspended overhead like a spacecraft in orbit.