The vermin call it the ivory tower. To us, it is The Citadel. The oldest building for miles around. The only one built from actual stone. Walls are porous. They breathe, just like we do. Smog, ashes, sighs, and silence. All of these have passed through the city, rushing through the streets and into houses on nature’s bellows. The summer storms and winter winds. Here, at the peak of our world, we wrap ourselves in scarves and shawls and sip black tea. Tea has been a rarity since scientists finally admitted that Camellia sinensis was succumbing to disease. Everything is diseased. Everyone is diseased. But sitting here at the highest point of the city, looking over the fortifications at the pinpricks of light from the distant munitions factories, we are kings.