Gregoric Amsel was eight years old when the Second World War began to wreak havoc on the peoples of the world. He fled to England with his parents from Austria because they were members of a political organization not favored by the Nazi party. A few months after settling in London, his parents were killed when a German bomb exploded above the subway station they were in, causing the roof to collapse on dozens of other civilians. A few days later, Gregoric was taken in by one of his distant relatives who told him that his parents had been killed in an automobile accident.
After living out his adolescence in his relative’s care, Gregoric moved to central London and began work as a maintenance engineer for the London Underground. It was uncomplicated and undemanding work for Gregoric, who was always fond of electricity and enjoyed figuring out how everything in the world worked. As a rule, maintenance workers of the Underground had to travel and work in small groups of three or four, just in case something should happen during one of their shifts.
One night, however, there were reports of a rail line down in the Covent Garden station. Gregoric was the only worker in the vicinity and he believed that he knew the area quite well, so he decided that he would be able to repair the line on his own. He made his way through the dimly lit and confusing maze that Gregoric’s superiors refer to as the maintenance tunnels. After what would seem like an eternity to some, he entered a claustrophobic, blistering hot electrical room.
As he began to make the repairs, he heard a clamor come from behind another door in the electrical room. He had taken particular notice of this door once before. He had never seen anyone go in or out of the room on the other side before and had no real inspiration to explore it either. Back to his work he went for another few minutes until he heard another noise, he couldn’t identify exactly what the noise was so he figured he would open the door. After almost exhausting himself entirely, he realized that the door had been welded shut. He told himself he was just hearing things, but as he began to turn from the door, he heard breathing. It was unlike any sort of breathing he had heard before. It was quiet, yet it pierced his ear drums as though it were coming from a loudspeaker inches away from his head. He began to slide swiftly backwards to the tunnel from which he entered the room, but after a few feet he lost his balance, as his foot had become entangled in his tool belt that he had left on the floor. He lurched headlong into a tool shelf that had one leg conveniently shorter than the others. The massive shelf began to tilt slowly in Gregoric’s direction, but before it could crush him, it slammed into the wall in which the welded door was located.
As the thick haze of dust and debris began to clear, Gregoric observed that the shelf had knocked a small breach into the wall. He slowly stood up, dusting himself off, and crept slowly over to the opening in the wall. When he peered inside, he saw something he never had known to exist. It was another station, a caved in, decrepit station, that looked as though it hadn’t been in service for a few decades.
The opening was just right for a man of his size and frame to fit through, so he crawled through to the other side. He walked onto the platform and began to examine a half destroyed train that he came to the conclusion was constructed in the early 1930s. But as soon as he began to enter the train for further inspection, a section of the station ceiling collapsed, covering the hole that he had entered the station through. The event had so surprised Gregoric that he slipped through the gap between the train and the platform and landed on his ankle with all of his weight, shattering it.
After lying utterly stunned on the railway for several of the longest minutes of his life, Gregoric realized that it would be unfeasible for him to lift himself back onto the platform. After praying to any god who would hear him, he began to wait in silence until it was his time. But suddenly, he heard a voice coming from one of the many shadowed niches of the station. It said, “Hello son.”