Earth Reference Year 2421.02 AD
Smooth and black, the small craft dropped out of the smog-laced clouds leaving a swirl of disturbance in its wake. Descending quickly through the dark humid atmosphere, the craft pulled out of its dive and leveled of just a few metres above the steaming swamplands below.
For a thousand kilometres the craft cruised across the swamps, its aerodynamic design causing barely a disturbance on the wet and decaying landscape below. Even the drokodriles - scaly web-footed creatures known for their extreme timidity and tendency to overreact - paid no attention as the craft sped overhead. Instead they continued their perpetual activity of gorging and defecating on the fusty vegetation beneath their feet.
Soon the distance glowed with the lights of a city – a vast towering city, which quickly grew to fill the whole horizon. Reducing speed the craft flew silently passed the smoke-belching processing plants that surrounded the city, and then ducked below the city’s rim, slipping silently under the immense platform that held the city streets up and away from the swamps beneath.
For a further two-hundred kilometers the craft flew deftly between the immense foundations of the city’s towering buildings – foundations that plunged deep into the rotten swamp – and passed huge shanty towns filled with forgotten vagrants that had found their way down from the depravity of the streets above.
The craft slowed. Ahead was the widest set of foundations yet encountered – a two kilometre wide slab of dense concrete and steel at the very heart of the city. A thick heavy-metal doorway slid open in the foundation’s side.
Passing over yet another shanty town, the craft passed through the door and into the building.