Wherever you cram millions of people together, the filth piles up.
Modernity hasn’t changed this fact, it has merely given us the privilege of ignoring the reality.
Trash is bagged and scurried away to be burned or buried out of sight, and we can remain in our sanitised bubble.
But an age of convenience has made even this system too much of a chore for us to tolerate.
A gurgling plughole is so much simpler. At the push of a button or the turn of a tap, so many rancid or repellant products of our world can be ground up, flushed or drained away. Forgotten in an instant, we can go back to our pristine and gleaming lives.
But below, the filth of our world doesn’t simply vanish.
Through crumbling sewers flow lazy rivers of stinking effluence. Rancid fat and oil is bound together with cleansing rags, soiled with every conceivable form of human waste. Everything about ourselves that disgusts us oozes through the darkness.
And in the fetid, lightless tunnels, great mountains of filth form and congeal.
Scraps of human DNA nestle in the cloying, smothering embrace of rotting blubber, corrupt and foul, but still rich with the energy that fuels all living things.
We know that the spark of life can begin in the most unlikely places. Billions of years ago, the first squirming protozoa writhed into existence in pools of ooze on the surface of a barren world.
Today, foul accretions deep beneath our feet play host to a new genesis.
It won’t be long before this wretched new life, born of what we cast off from our own bodies, and grown fat and strong on all that we drain away in disgust, takes form.
And how long then, before it begins its inexorable slither back up out of the darkness and into our world?