The Budapest subway system, the world's second oldest, is a dark, labyrinthine netherworld as vast and various as the city above it. Of the hoards of people who can be found there, most are passing through on their ways to better, brighter places, where the sunlight shines and fresh breezes blow. But, there are those who spend most of their lives underground - the beleaguered ticket inspectors or "controllers", who are assigned in teams to various sections of the system, and whose thankless job it is to ensure that no passengers ride without paying. Deployed by those in control - unseen authority figures who monitor the trains and travelers on massive grids and screens - these inspector teams are a much-despised lot. Who, on his way to work or to an appointment, wants to be stopped and asked for a receipt? And who, having sneaked through a turnstile, wants to be apprehended by petty officers who represent power at its most powerless?