As usual, downtown was filled with people. Filled with cars, horses, streetcars, the air droning with the passage of dirigibles, the ground thrumming with the pressure of transient pneumatics.

Is it possible, he thought, for a civilization so encrusted with its own growth, such a towering coral reef of technology and detritus, to simply sink away? Be forgotten? Recede beneath the waves of history like Lemuria or Atlantis?

He looked down at his watch, a tight cluster of yellow tubes throbbing in an intricate pattern. He was going to miss his train if he didn’t hurry.