The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery) – Chapter 2

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The Alibi – Chapter 2

Rexall Shaul stood quietly at the top of thirty flights of stairs. He held the door open for a moment and peered down the stairwell. The stairs descended from the art deco paneled hallway on AirCon’s corporate office floor to the garage underneath their building. There were many such buildings, some taller, some shorter, many shared, dotting Boston’s Incubation Center’s waterfront, and Shaul sometimes believed he could feel the waves rocking the building’s foundation pylons buried deep into the landfill supporting the Incubation Center’s population.

He let go of the door and waited, quietly, meditatively, listening to the pneumatic cylinder ease the door shut behind him. The click of the latch was his runner’s starting pistol.

He slowed his breathing and relaxed his still-lean body, techniques he learned as a USAA level competitive gymnast, and debated lifting his arm to check his Omega Dark Side of the Moon watch.

Lifting his arm would raise his pulse a beat, maybe two.

The hesitation alone raised his pulse a beat or two and he wondered if he was losing his edge.

The sound of the pneumatic piston slowly increased as it reached the last moments of its transit.

Quick glance at the Omega. The gun sounded.


He walked quickly but not hurriedly.

Steady pace. People wouldn’t think twice, let him pass. A burst of speed once in the garage if necessary and never necessary before.

Break a sweat and he revealed too much.

Keep it all inside. Maintained.

He opened the door to the garage, glanced at his watch.

Two-hundred-forty seconds. Eight seconds per flight. Not breathing hard. Didn’t break a sweat.


His best time made use of gravity and dropping down the stairwell, his hands working the railings like descending uneven bars.

He smiled and walked to his black Lotus Exige. Two parking spaces were assigned to him as part of his package. He parked over the center line of the two so the Exige had three feet on either side clear.

Footsteps. Running, flanking him.

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