Imagine a train. A steel black, armoured train drawn by a massive behemoth of a steam engine which groans slowly into life, accelerating out of the station and onto the tracks, its whistle howling bleakly into the night. As far as the eye can see is a bleak, post-industrial landscape of broken earth, shattered buildings, and dead chimneys, pierced through by the rail line our train follows, its ever increasing speed turning the piles of collapsed bricks and bent girders into a blur with only the cold, dead hills appearing clear in the distance.
The cabin is occupied by two engineers, their forms concealed by greatcoats, goggles, rebreathers and caps. One ceaselessly shovels mounds of coal into the roaring furnace while the other types cryptic codes into a worn keypad, frayed and dangling wires carrying his signals back to the carriages behind. A greasy printer mounted on the cabin wall coughs to life and starts outputting a list of towns – the keypad engineer ticks them off as the train hurtles through their broken remains.
A golden light appears on the horizon. As the train climbs the hills it becomes brighter, and brighter still until the engine rounds a curve and a vast industrial complex is revealed, occupying the valley below. The sky is lit by gouts of flame and great searchlights, illuminating the stacks and towers of the refineries and furnaces that stretch to the horizon. The train slows as it comes down off the hills, entering a brightly lit corridor between the stacks. The horns and bells of the complex sound out in welcome and the train whistles back – rolling through the great gates that open in the wall of the largest factory…
Got that? Good. Now listen to it.