I still can't believe how easy it was to gain access to Down Below. Sometime during the insignificant hours of the morning a huge door slowly opened. A behemoth of a street-cleaning robot lumbered out. We strolled in.
The brutes that tend the machines that rule the world are somebots paltry idea of a master race, combining the worst features of robot and warmbody.
I took my cue from Nadja and pretended to know where I was going and what I was doing down there. The brutes ignored us. Even the Morale Enforcement Officers (similar to Courtesy Rangers but designed to intimidate rather than reassure) were only interested in harassing the workers as they went about their business. No one bothered us.
As we traveled through them it was difficult (for me anyway) to tell where one machine left off and the next began.
"This one makes the weather," Nadja told me. "It also controls the migration of birds in this part of the world."
Later: "This one generates the waves of consumer hysteria that make millions of bodies line up to buy things they don't need."
"Like those bars of soap that would giggle and get the hiccups?" I asked.
"Or face clamps." she said.
Eventually we came into a cavern filled with machinery that was busily doing something even Nadja was unable to identify. She took out her pad and began making notes and sketches.
Evidently Nadja is one of many paid by agent or agents unknown to map the machines that grow down here. "No warmbody above or below knows what's where or what it all does," she said.
Sometime while we were down there Nadja told me she would give anything to know what the NeverMind knows -- to see with it's thousand eyes.