Rexall Shaul stood quietly at the top of thirty flights of stairs. He held the door open for a moment, leaned over the railing, and peered down the stairwell’s center shaft. Music wafted up the from far below. He closed his eyes to concentrate on the sound.
So let me introduce to you
The one and only Billy Shears
He opened his eyes and softly sang along. “And Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, yeah.” He gazed down the center shaft again. “That’s an old one.”
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 Square’s waterfront, and Shaul sometimes believed he could feel the waves scouring the building’s foundation piles buried deep into the landfill supporting the Incubation Square 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 served as his runner’s starting pistol.
His breathing slowed and he relaxed his still-lean body with techniques learned as a USAA level competitive gymnast.
Lift 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 door closed, the starting pistol sounded.