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.I clambered out of the car.Trix waited beside it, very quiet.“Just stick to the sidelines,” I said to her, “and get the fuck out of Dodge when it all goes off.I’ll get your money to you in a couple of days.”“I don’t want the money,” she said.“So what do you want?”She didn’t say anything.I looked around.It was just us in the carport.“Okay,” I said.“Let’s do something really goddamn stupid.”Chapter 53I moved around the carport, taking cover where I could, as Trix and Brom walked directly to the elevators—two of them, side by side, with an alcove beside the far one—talking loudly, as I’d asked.The uniformed security agent wasn’t young, but looked beefy.He was deferential to Brom and Trix, which was good.There are two kinds of security—the kind who thinks he works for the security firm, and the kind who thinks he works for the firm’s clients.The first kind are tough and alert, because they work for the reputation of the firm.The second kind concentrates on appearance to keep the client pleased.This guy was definitely the second kind, which meant I had a chance.I listened to his voice as he spoke to Brom and Trix, marking him and his plus-one off on his clipboard.Phlegmy, slow.He thumbed the radio on his shoulder, letting security upstairs know the pair were coming up.He walked them to the elevator, saw them into it, and turned around.As the doors were closing, Brom and Trix must’ve seen me jab my thumb and forefinger into the security guy’s throat from behind, and then drive the butt of the gun into the back of his head.He almost shrugged off the first blow, gagging as I killed his voice.The fourth took him down.I almost popped a rib dragging the bastard around the corner into the toilets.I gagged him with a wad of toilet paper and his own tie and cuffed him around the toilet before locking the stall from the inside.Coughing some spit down into my throat, I reached around and thumbed his radio.“Need the john.Ate something bad.Clipboard’s by the elevators—come down and cover me for ten minutes.Gonna sign off, this hurts like hell.” I switched the radio off before anyone could answer, and climbed out of the top of the stall with the clipboard.Outside, I propped the clipboard on the corner, so whoever came down had to turn their back on the elevator and walk away from it to retrieve it.I dashed to the alcove and waited.Two minutes crept by.Just as I was sure I’d fucked it up, the elevator pinged, and a skinny security man came down.He looked around for the clipboard.Spotted it.Walked toward it.I very silently moved to the elevator.He bent down to pick the clipboard up.I reached a hand inside and above the elevator door.Found what I hoped for, and smacked it to the right with my finger.Slid in and punched the door-close button, pressed against the left side of the elevator.Above the door was a security camera that trained down on the inside of the elevator car.Smacking it to the right meant that it could only see the right half of the car.I stayed on the left, where the control panel was, and punched in 32.There was blood on the butt of the Ruger.I rubbed it off on my pants leg.And then looked down.Suddenly I’d become cavalier about blood.I did not enjoy this about myself.Taking a deep breath, I tried to remember who I was before this whole thing started.I came back to myself, a little bit.The elevator pinged at 32.I stepped out carefully into darkness.The rest of the building was, of course, empty.Brom’s map was in my head.I was below everything he’d detailed for me, and I looked up, measuring the relative position of everything above me.It was a new building.And Brom’s powers of description had given me the idea.New office buildings tend to prize flexibility.So what they do is build the framework and hang the walls from the framework, using adhesive wainscot to fix them to the floor.It allows the owners to change the structure of their office design.There have been stories of people in high-risk jobs coming to work in the morning to discover that their little office is entirely missing—workmen have come in the night to take out the walls and change the workplace design.Plasterboard and plastic.Paneled ceilings.Stuff that breaks and cuts.I broke a couple of locks and moved around until I found some desks and chairs.The clock was running in my head.My unconscious guy with the phantom shits would be given ten minutes, if I was lucky.And if the bastard didn’t wake up first.I didn’t have a lot of time, and past history made it disgustingly clear that I had no luck at all.Working as quietly as I could without wasting time, I stacked chairs up on a desk for a makeshift ladder, and got under the ceiling.It was a gridwork of metal strips with plastic panels.The panels were just laid on.I pushed one up.There was a space, maybe a couple of feet, between this ceiling and the underside of the next floor up.Trunks of wires ran here and there.The dust would’ve choked a regiment.I prayed to anything that might be paying attention that the metal frame held my weight, and lifted myself up.I spidered myself over the plastic panels, keeping hands, knees, and feet on the metal struts.Everything creaked and groaned a little, but held.Good.I moved along the space like the world’s most retarded crab, trying to keep the map straight in my head.Eventually, I picked my spot, and turned myself around so my back was supported by the metal.From my jacket, I took the sharpest knife I could find in Brom’s kitchen [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]