It was the intense heat of the evening that first roused Herbie Cale back to consciousness. Perspiration had beaded on his forehead, now running in fine rivulets down his nose. His breathing was laboured. As his senses slowly returned, the dull throbbing of his temples was quickly overshadowed by sharp irregular spasms focused in one eye socket. He tried to crack his eyelid open, only to find an angry violet mass of swollen tissue sealed it tightly shut. His other eye opened with relative ease though and, through a softening haze of fatigue, he surveyed his surroundings. A vast expanse of sidewalk seemed to stretch in every direction, framed with sprawling tower blocks. Frenzied people bustled past, like wavering mirages, stirring the scent of melting tarmac high into the air.
Through all of this, his brain gradually began to engage. He knew he was still in the States; that much was certain from the hubbub of conversation that floated past his reclining form. His precise location howev