The skies were yellow, the rain more like a mist of diluted hydrochloric acid than water. As we walked over the small hilly rise, below us was the panorama of what used to be Washington, DC. The monuments had been mined for their limestone and great pits were dug into the National Mall. Miles of piping and dingy scaffold flocked around us, a pyramid of uncertain origin was being constructed near the White House. In the sky floated alien platforms and with a roar overhead crawled some indescribable combination of refinery and aircraft carrier. What had happened here?